A vessel suspended by chains, and used for burning incense at solemn Mass, Vespers, Benediction, processions, and other important offices of the Church

Catholic Encyclopedia. . 2006.

     Catholic_Encyclopedia Censer
    A vessel suspended by chains, and used for burning incense at solemn Mass, Vespers, Benediction, processions, and other important offices of the Church. It is now commonly called a thurible. In its prevailing shape the censer consists of a cup, or bowl, which rests on a firm base and is provided with a hollow movable pan for holding ignited charcoal, a lid or covering, and four chains about three feet in length, three of which unite the bowl to a circular disc, while the fourth is used for raising the lid, to which one end is attached, the other passing through a hole in the disc and terminating in a small ring. To carry the censer the chains are grasped in the hand just under the disc, care being taken to keep the base elevated to a height of six or eight inches from the ground and to swing it gently to and fro in order that the current of air thus created may cause the fire to burn the fragrant gums or incense which is placed on it whenever the censer is being used. The censer played an important part in the ancient religious worship both of the Jews and Pagans. It is no wonder, then, that its employment in Christian ceremonies goes back to the very earliest times. Its primitive form, however, was quite different from what it is now, being something like a vase with a perforated cover to emit the perfumed odours. Later on chains were added for greater convenience in manipulation. These vessels in the Middle Ages were often made of gold and silver and enriched with numerous details of most elaborate ornamentation. In the archives or inventories of many Continental and English cathedrals (such as St. John Lateran, Trier, Louvain, Lincoln, and York Minster) minute descriptions are given of some ancient specimens in the possession of these churches.
    BONA, De Rebus Liturgicis (Turin, 1747), I, xxv; DUGDALE, Monasticum Anglicanum (London, 1682), passim; PUGIN, Glossary of Ecclesiastical Ornament (London, 1868), s.v. Censer; O'LOAN, Ceremonies of Ecclesiastical Functions (Dublin, 1893), 27; LEVASSEUR, Manuel Liturgique (Paris, 1890), I, 275; VAN DER STAPPEN, De Celebratione Missæ (Mechlin, 1892), X, 92.
    Transcribed by Thomas J. Bress

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VIII. — New York: Robert Appleton Company. . 1910.

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  • Censer — Cen ser, n. [For incenser, fr. OF. encensier, F. encensoir, fr. LL. incensarium, incensorium, fr. L. incensum incense. See {Incense}, and cf. {Incensory}.] A vessel for perfumes; esp. one in which incense is burned. [1913 Webster] Note: The… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • censer — censer, censor, censure 1. A censer (from an Anglo French root related to incense) is a vessel for burning incense; a censor (from a Latin word meaning ‘to assess’) is an official who decides on the suitability of films, plays, etc. for public… …   Modern English usage

  • censer — vessel used for burning incense, mid 13c., from O.Fr. censier, aphetic form of encensier, from encens incense (see INCENSE (Cf. incense) (n.)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • censer — ► NOUN ▪ a container in which incense is burnt. ORIGIN Old French censier, from encens incense …   English terms dictionary

  • censer — [sen′sər] n. [ME < OFr censier < encensier < encens: see INCENSE1] an ornamented container in which incense is burned …   English World dictionary

  • Censer — Distinguish from sensor, censure and censor. Censers are any type of vessels made for burning incense. These vessels vary greatly in size, form, and material of construction. They may consist of simple earthenware bowls or fire pots to… …   Wikipedia

  • Censer —    The vessel in which incense was presented on the golden altar before the Lord in the temple (Ex. 30:1 9). The priest filled the censer with live coal from the sacred fire on the altar of burnt offering, and having carried it into the sanctuary …   Easton's Bible Dictionary

  • censer — See censer, censor, censure …   Dictionary of problem words and expressions

  • censer — A vessel in which incense was sprinkled on hot coals (2 Chron. 26:19); probably a decorated rod with a bowl at the end (Heb. 9:4). In Rev. 8:3 an angel [[➝ angels]] swings a golden censer and the ascending smoke symbolizes people s prayers …   Dictionary of the Bible

  • censer — n. a vessel in which incense is burnt, esp. during a religious procession or ceremony. Etymology: ME f. AF censer, OF censier aphetic of encensier f. encens INCENSE(1) …   Useful english dictionary

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