Athonite Style Incense: Made by the monks of Holy Cross Monastery
Pure frankincense resin is ground into a fine powder, which is then saturated with rich, fragrant oil. Kneading brings this mixture to a dough-like consistency. The incense is rolled into sheet form and the monks cut the incense into small grains while saying the Jesus Prayer. The grains are then covered in a fire-purified clay powder to mitigate the stickiness, and are cured for at least a month.
The term "Athonite style" is used to describe incense which is finished as a grain (not a stick) in a manner faithful to the method of preparation used for centuries on Mount Athos, a monastic republic in Greece. Athonite style incense is burned atop a lighted coal, and can be used at home or in church as an accompaniment to prayer.
How to burn incense in your home:
First, if using larger charcoal break it into halves or quarters. One quarter piece of charcoal is sufficient for most small censers used at home. If using small (dime size) charcoal, there is no need to break it up.
Next, use kitchen tongs, pliers, or large tweezers to hold the charcoal over a lighted candle or a gas flame. It is best to do this over a metal pan or sink as the charcoal will spark. Place the charcoal into your censer bowl and wait until it is glowing red.
Finally place a pinch (about 1-3 grains if a granular incense) of incense onto the smoldering charcoal. Cense the rooms of your house making the sign of the cross.
Holy Cross Monastery: Wayne, West Virginia
is an English-speaking monastery under the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia in the Diocese of Eastern America & New York.
Holy Cross is a growing monastery consisting of more than two dozen monks, novices, candidates and lay workers, many of them converts to the Orthodox Faith. The monastery community comprises both seasoned monks who have lived very full monastic lives for decades, and many younger monks who have brought to the monastery a youthful vigor and energy.
The monastery is located on 180 acres of land in the beautiful foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in West Virginia. The surrounding hills and forests provide the monastery with seclusion from the distractions and temptations of the world, as well as a daily reminder of the beauty of God's creation. These two aspects of our physical setting help to lead them to prayer.
The monks support themselves mainly by manufacturing incense in the ancient Athonite tradition and handmade soap, as well as through selling other liturgical items and products.