Description The spiritual nature of the church interior was enhanced by the burning of incense. In the medieval church, as in some Christian traditions today, incense blessed by the priest was sprinkled on hot coals placed inside a censer, which was then swung back and forth around the priest, sacred objects of the sanctuary, and the congregation during religious ceremonies. The smoke of the incense wafting through the air was believed to facilitate the ascent of people's prayers to heaven. Moreover, the aromatic scent was thought to honor God and the saints, and attention was paid to the composition of the incense because each element (frankincense, myrrh, aloeswood) was held to possess purifying powers. This Byzantine censer carries relief images of the Annunciation, Nativity, Crucifixion, and the Women at the Tomb on the sides, and of the Virgin and Child enthroned on the bottom.
- Realms of Faith: Medieval and Byzantine Art from the Walters Art Museum. Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville. 2001-2002.
- Realms of Faith: Medieval and Byzantine Art from the Walters Art Museum. Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville. 2002-2005.
Provenance Mrs. Carol L. Brewster, Owings Mills, Maryland, 1971, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1981, by gift.
Credit Gift of Mrs. Carol L. Brewster, 1981
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