An unworthy Deacon, named for the brother of God: James, striving to "work out his salvation with fear and trembling" within the Tradition (paradosis) of the Eastern Orthodox Faith. It is a strange and marvelous journey, and I am accompanied by the fourfold fruit of my fecundity. My wife, the Matushka or Diaconissa Sophia, is my beloved partner in the pursuit of Theosis, and she ranks me in every way.
Last night after we had our prayers I noticed that the coal I was using to burn the incense was still quite viable. And so as the kids were being ushered off to bed I put a couple of extra nuggets of "Rose" on the coal. As I did, my eldest daughter was watching and asked what I was doing - why was I still bruning incense after we'd finished prayers?
Well, for one, I love the smell...but more than that, it does something to me. The smell of the incense is very distinct and the very hint of it as we step into the Narthex of the Church is a sure sign of where we are going and what we are going to do. The same is true of home...the lingering scent of incense is a real comfort and encouragement to me...it, in and of itself, centers me in a way.
In the minds of my children they recognize that the rising incense is a symbol (in the eastern sense - right Seraphim?) of our prayers and so I told her that keeping a bit of incense going afterwards is sort of like the echo of our prayers. By her smile, I could tell that she seemed to appreciate and understand my answer.
...offered by Dn. James Ferrenberg, a sinner at 12:22 PM [+] +++
Beautiful! That was pretty nice! Children are amazing!