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At St Mary's, we use incense in our most important services.
Incense is burnt in a thurible (that's a brass bowl with chains coming off it, so you can hold it without getting burnt.
We light charcoal, get it white hot and then add incense.
Incense is a tree gum mixed with essential oils and when they're heated, they release smell and smoke.
The smell and the smoke rise up and we can think of our prayers, as a sweet-smelling offering, rising up before God.