Raising of Incense

Aaron shall burn on it sweet incense every morning; and at twilight, he shall burn incense on it, perpetual incense before the Lord throughout your generations. You shall not offer strange incense on it. It is most holy to the Lord

(Exodus 30:7-9)

As the church of the Old Testament used to raise incense morning and evening so does the Church of the New Testament through the raising of incense in the matins and the vespers prayers.

In the old days, the vesper and matins prayers were prayed whether the liturgy was to be prayed or not [1]. The people used to attend the morning prayers before going to their daily duties and on the way back attend the vesper prayers. But nowadays these prayers are prayed as part of the liturgy and all became as one unit.

For easy reading, we have divided the Raising of Incense into three parts:

  • Beginning to Doxologies
  • Doxologies to the Prayer of the Gospel
  • End of Prayer.

[1] St John Cassian in his book Conferences, Hyppolytes’ Coptic canons 21, 26 and 27. Also, St Cyprians the martyr in his “Our Father” canticle and St Epiphanius (315-403) bishop of Salamis in his letters on “Prayers and Hymns of Matins” and “Psalms and Prayers of  Vespers.”