The use of incense as a symbol is common among American fraternal groups, although it is sometimes purely ceremonial, without a direct connection to the ritual’s teachings. In Freemasonry, the pot of incense is part of the Third, or Master Mason, Degree, where it “typifies the pure heart from which prayers and aspirations arise, as incense does . . . as an acceptable sacrifice to the Deity.” The Odd Fellows use incense as part of their “altar of incense” symbol, signifying the “simplicity of that true worship . . . to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.” These brightly painted pots show some of the variety of detail available from regalia companies.
Stacy C. Hollander, "Two Fraternal Pots of Incense," exhibition label for Mystery and Benevolence: Masonic and Odd Fellows Folk Art from the Kendra and Allan Daniel Collection. Stacy C. Hollander, curator. New York: American Folk Art Museum, 2016.