Table & Hanging Brass Censer - Thuribles - Incense holder/burner. A censer is a small metal or stone dish used for burning incense. A common design is a metal container, about the size and shape of a small coffee-pot, suspended on chains and often with the addition of small bells. The bowl contains hot coals, and the incense is placed on top of these.
Theological significance To the Christians, burning incense represents the prayers of the faithful rising towards Heaven as a sweet smelling spiritual fragrance. One commonly sung psalm during the censing is "Let my prayer rise like incense before You, the lifting up of my hands like the evening sacrifice." Some Orthodox Christians use a standing censer on their home altars.
The censer used in the liturgical services of the Church contains a bowl/recepticle which represents the Church. Some commentators suggest that this represents the Holy Theotokos because like she contained within her womb the Divine Fire, so too, the censer contains the burning coal of faith.
This dish is supported by four chains each of which carries three bells. The twelve bells represent the voices of the disciples proclaiming the Gospel based on the teachings of the four Evangelists here represented by the chains. The three outer chains attached to the bowl are for the Holy Trinity, and the fourth inner chain attached to the lid is for the Oneness of God.
In addition, the censer used is often gold plated, combining in itself at the offering of incense the three gifts of the Biblical Magi: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.