Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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Why do we pray for the reposed using incense that the deacons pass around on Good Friday?

This is not part of the rites of Good Friday. It is an old worship custom on the Feast of Pentecost. The idea behind this gesture is to take some incense and dedicate it to the person we commemorate. Then we give the incense back to the priest who in turn puts it in the censor while praying. The essence behind this practice is to offer aroma-filled prayers on behalf of our beloved ones who have departed.
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