Bells At Mass

Status
Not open for further replies.
G

Gloria_Jean

Guest
We have been advised the ringing of the bells are no longer needed in the Mass and that there are no “magic moments”.
How does one respond to that? Mr. Keating where are you?
 
Dear Gloria Jean,

I’m not Karl Keating but… As far as the first point goes, I would respond by saying “Well, the ringing of bells was never ‘needed’ but we still did it.” No “magic moments?”–I’d say “Right. There aren’t. So what?” Then I would humbly remind whoever is in charge that the General Instruction to the Roman Missal says this: “A little before the consecration, when appropriate, a server rings a bell as a signal to the faithful. According to local custom, the server also rings the bell as the priest shows the host and then the chalice.” (#150).

So, if it has been the custom at your parish, you have more of an argument. If it hasn’t been a custom, you’re probably out of luck until a priest who likes all the bells and whistles comes.
 
Bells: when appropriate or is a custom (GIRM, no. 150)

*GIRM:150 *A little before the consecration, when appropriate, a minister rings a bell as a signal to the faithful. Depending on local custom, the minister also rings the bell at the showing of both the host and the chalice.

:yup: Blessings and Peace
 
On the perspective of a Byzantine Catholic, I can speak at the church I attend, that the bells are rung more frequently than at the Latin Mass.
We ring the bells, I mean the outdoor bells, which also ring for the indoor events as well, during the beginning of the Divine Liturgy, and during the Holy, Holy, Holy, the Consecration, and sometimes during the end of Liturgy as well.

When the major feasts occur and we have an outdoor procession around the exterior of the church, the bells ring constantly.

So if you like bells, come attend a Byzantine Catholic Liturgy.

Go with God!
Edwin
 
Wait, I thought Byzantines did not use bells? Is that a latinization you guys adopted?
 
My parish has put away the server bells, and I miss them.

I always thought of the gentle sound of the bells was a very reverent way of announcing the presence of Our Lord. I don’t know if this is the true intention, but it certainly focuses the congregation’s attention to the altar.

I was a little confused when the bells were first put away, and even more confused when I learned that they were not universally discarded. I originally thought that this action was change in the GIRM. I was happy to find out that this lovely ritual is still practiced in many parishes. Maybe one day it will return to my parish.
 
under our previous pastor, the altar servers did not ring the bells because our pastor did not want them rung. after our new pastor was installed, we discussed it in the liturgy committee and several members expressed a desire to reinstate them. Our pastor said it was ok. one thing i have noticed. if my mind has started to wander, the bells bring my attention back immediately where it belongs. i like them.
 
40.png
Iohannes:
Wait, I thought Byzantines did not use bells? Is that a latinization you guys adopted?
I will have to ask my pastor on that one. I know my pastor is wiping out a lot of the latinization in our parish and in the Eparchy (diocese).

Go with God!
Edwin
 
To paraphrase Jimmy Akin from “Mass Appeal”, the bells are rung to indicate that the most important part of the Mass is about to occur.

The consecration is not “magic”, but it is miraculous! But it seems some people don’t believe in either. Something like 30% of Catholics believe in the Real Presence?! How Sad!

-Jennifer
 
I had a chance to talk to my priest about the bells at our Liturgy.

In the Byzantine Catholic Church there are NO bells to be rung INSIDE the sanctuary. We use the OUTDOOR bells instead. It is more of an exterior proclamation of what is going on indoors. That is why a bell tower at a Byzantine Church is usually louder than others.

The ringing of the bells for us predates the ‘Muslim yoke’ against Catholics around the 7 & 8th centuries. (The term used in quote marks are my pastor’s exact words).

I hope this helps to understand the Byzantine use of the bells at our Liturgies and Prayer services.

Go with God!
Edwin
 
40.png
Ourladyguadalup:
To paraphrase Jimmy Akin from “Mass Appeal”, the bells are rung to indicate that the most important part of the Mass is about to occur.

The consecration is not “magic”, but it is miraculous! But it seems some people don’t believe in either. Something like 30% of Catholics believe in the Real Presence?! How Sad!

-Jennifer
The ringing of *Sanctus Bells *during the Mass seems to deeply upset the more “progressive” priests and “liturgy coordinators” that I have seen. Yes, the rubrics allow the bells to be rung, but they will counter with “the spirit of vatican II” argument, which is utter nonsense of course.

Their rationale is that the entire Mass is important, not just the consecration. That’s true of course, but the consecration is indeed the absolute summit of the Mass.

I think in reality, the ringing of the sanctus bells is a long held tradition that they see as something they can eliminate in order to make the Mass as un-solemn as possible.

Pick-away long enough at the Mass and we are left with the appearence of a non-denomination service. That’s terribly sad given that the Mass is heaven on earth…
 
Bells were very necessary when the priest spoke Latin, and when he had his back to the congregation. It was a good way to call attention to the miraculous moment that could otherwise be overlooked.

With the priest facing the people and speaking English, the bells aren’t as necessary.

In certain circumstances the bell ringing is an end unto itself, and can actually be a distraction, e.g. when altar servers are more concerned with ringing the bells than observing what’s happening on the altar.
 
Thought I’d share a funny story about the bells from my childhood. Whenever the ice cream truck would come around my neighborhood ringing his bell, my parents would ask my younger sister, who was probably a toddler at the time, if she was a good girl. Of course, if she was, she was allowed to have ice cream. After a while, as soon as she heard the ice cream bell ringing, she’d run to my parents saying, “I good girl!” One Sunday morning, after the bells rang in church, my sister shouted out, “I good girl!” I enjoy the bells in church and am happy my current parish still uses them. However, sometimes the bells in church can be a bit distracting for me because, if even for a moment, my mind occasionally flashes back to that funny morning in church! Hopefully, God got as much of a chuckle out of it as we did. :angel1:
 
40.png
Edwin1961:
In the Byzantine Catholic Church there are NO bells to be rung INSIDE the sanctuary. We use the OUTDOOR bells instead. It is more of an exterior proclamation of what is going on indoors. That is why a bell tower at a Byzantine Church is usually louder than others.
What about the bells on the censer? These aren’t a Latinization AFAIK.
 
We still use the bells at our parish, and in fact at every parish I can recall. It’s a nice custom. I hope that efforts to do away with it don’t reflect a desire to diminsh the importance of the consecration.

JimG
 
Paul W:
Bells were very necessary when the priest spoke Latin, and when he had his back to the congregation. It was a good way to call attention to the miraculous moment that could otherwise be overlooked.

With the priest facing the people and speaking English, the bells aren’t as necessary.

In certain circumstances the bell ringing is an end unto itself, and can actually be a distraction, e.g. when altar servers are more concerned with ringing the bells than observing what’s happening on the altar.
That’s not true. That’s precisely the sort of argument put forth by people who want to eliminate the use of sanctus bells.

First, we need to understand the origin of the bells. Originally the sanctus bell was a large loft bell, not a hand-held sanctuary bell. Many times it was the largest bell in the belfry.

The sanctus bell was rung to signal those who could not attend the Mass (slaves, indentured workers, etc.) that something miraculous and wonderful was taking place. This would allow these people to also make a sign of adoration.

As sociaty changed and almost everyone was able to attend Mass, this tradition was preserved. Both because it helped to focus people, but also because it was a very long held tradition.

People could understand the Mass well enough in Latin to known when the consecration was taking place – probably a higher percentage than today in the vernacular, but the bells just reinforce the wonderful miracle to all. They are also a very long held tradition dating from 600-700ad.

Long live the sanctus bells…
 
40.png
dcs:
What about the bells on the censer? These aren’t a Latinization AFAIK.
The bells on the censer do indeed originate from the east. Their purpose was again to focus (and wake-up in some cases!) members of the faithful during the Divine Liturgy.
 
40.png
Crusader:
The bells on the censer do indeed originate from the east. Their purpose was again to focus (and wake-up in some cases!) members of the faithful during the Divine Liturgy.
There are also 12 bells – one for each Apostle.
 
Paul W:
e.g. when altar servers are more concerned with ringing the bells than observing what’s happening on the altar.
I certainly disagree with this statement. My alter boy days are long gone but I can remember that this was the second place in the mass that I would pay close attention to. I didn’t want to embarrass myself by not ringing the bells at the proper time.
I miss the bells.

Benjamin
 
Paul W:
Bells were very necessary when the priest spoke Latin, and when he had his back to the congregation. It was a good way to call attention to the miraculous moment that could otherwise be overlooked.

With the priest facing the people and speaking English, the bells aren’t as necessary.

In certain circumstances the bell ringing is an end unto itself, and can actually be a distraction, e.g. when altar servers are more concerned with ringing the bells than observing what’s happening on the altar.
First: The priest does not have his back to the congregation; we are all facing the same direction…toward Christ.
Second: The servers at a TLM are has to know the rubrics of the Mass and they are very concerned with what is going on at the altar.
At our parish we have pre teens, 20, 30 and 50+ year olds that serve and have to turn away many boys willing just to be torch bearers at every Mass.
We all know that serving at the Mass is a great honor.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Back
Top