The Liturgy of Funerary Offerings

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The Liturgy of Funerary Offerings

By E. A. Wallis Budge

The Second Ceremony

The ceremony of the sprinkling of water having been completed, the second ceremony begins. The SEM priest, or one of his assistants, took in his hand a censer in which incense has been placed, and having set fire in it, and made the incense to burn, he walked with it four times round the statue or mummy, and censed it, whilst the Kher heb recited the following four times:--

"Let him that advanceth advance with his KA.

"Horus advanceth with his KA.

"Set advanceth with his KA.

"Thoth advanceth with his KA.

"Sep advanceth with his KA.

"Osiris advanceth with his KA.

"Khenti-maati 1 advanceth with his KA.

"Thy Tet shall advance with thy KA.

"Hail, Unas! The arm of thy KA is before thee.

"Hail, Unas! The arm of thy KA is behind thee.

"Hail, Unas! The leg of thy KA is before thee.

"Hail, Unas! The leg of thy KA is behind thee.

"O Osiris Unas! I have given unto thee the Eye


The Sem priest carrying the censer of burning incense.


of Horus, and thy face is filled therewith, and the perfume of the Eye of Horus is to thee."

This formula begins with an address to the statue, or mummy, which is bidden to advance, just as do Horus, Set, Thoth, Sep, Osiris, and Khenti-maati, i.e., the dweller without eyes (the Horus of the dark night when neither sun nor moon is visible), These gods are not separated from their KAU, and the KA of Unas, as the equal of their KAU, shall be with him. With his KA, however, shall come his Tchet, or Tet,  , or  , i.e., his backbone, or pillar which supports the backbone. The , as Prof. Maspero has shown, represents the tree-trunk which was worshipped at Mendes in connection with Osiris; it was animated by Osiris, and was all-powerful in supporting the dead because of the presence of the god in it. Under the Middle and New Empires the   is often seen painted on the bottoms of the insides of coffins, and when coffins were intended to stand on their feet, the  was generally painted on the back outside. Thus when lying down the mummy rested on his  and when standing up was supported by it. The KA of the deceased comes with him because it is supported by Osiris, and it comes with one leg and one arm before him, and one leg and one arm behind him. The exact signification of these expressions is unknown, but about the translation of the words there is no doubt.

We next see that the incense with which the mummy is censed represents the Eye of Horus, or the Sun, and the use of the expression dates from the time when Horus was the greatest of the gods of heaven, and the sun was regarded as his eye. The sun was, of course, the source of heat and light, and therefore of all life, and "Eye of Horus" was a synonym for everything which was beneficial for the living and the dead. The hot fumes of the incense surrounded the mummy or statue and gave warmth to it, the smoke rose up before its face, which it covered with a sort of layer, and the general effect of the ceremony was to make the deceased pure and warm. The first ceremony removed sin from the new dwelling-place of the KA, and the second continued its purification, and gave to it the quickening beat which was derived from the Eye of Horus. The pungent smell of the incense formed a sort of atmosphere for the dead, and was pleasant to them.


47:1 Dümichen, "the dweller in the town of Sekhem (Letopolis)."



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