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a thurible is a metal censer, suspended from chains, in which incense is burned. It can either be stationary, hanging from a hook, or be intended for holding it in the hands and swinging it regularly during use. Stationary thuribles are not used in church. They need bigger air holes because they are not swung for ventilation.

The Workings of a thurible are quite simple. Heated charcoal is inside the actual metal censer. Incenseis placed upon the charcoal by the user at different times during use as the incense burns quite quickly. Once the incense has been placed on the charcoal the thurible is closed and swung rythmically for censing, or put back on it's hook.

Thuribles in christian churches

In the Roman Catholic church a thurible is used during Solemn Mass, Benediction, Vespers and funeral services. Other churches, such as the churches of the Anglican Communion, also make use of them. The altar server who carries the thurible is called the thurifer.

The thurifer's job in the mass is basically to carry the thurible from one place to another. The jobs of a thurifer include:

  • Holding the thurible while the Priest is blessing the incense inside of it.
  • Carrying the thurible throughout the Mass.
  • Presenting the thurible to the Priest at different times in the mass, (for example, Holy Communion, Gospel readings, the Angelus)

A famous thurible is the huge Botafumeiro in Santiago de Compostela Cathedral, Spain.

Ritual uses of a thurible

Some magickians don't like to use thuribles because they remind them of their christian upbringing. Those who don't have such objections might find a thurible interesting to use, especially in rituals that involve solemn ceremonies or group workings, where a certain theatralical element is desired.