Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The voice of the bell...

 The bells they sound on Bredon
And still the steeples hum -
'Come all to Church, good people',
Oh, noisy bells, be dumb;
I hear you, I will come. -  A.E. Housman

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"Ringing the bells also gave notice to those unable
to attend the Mass (the sick, slaves, outside guards, etc)
that something divine and miraculous
was taking place inside of the church building.

The voice of the bell would allow people
to stop what they were doing
to offer an act of adoration to God. 

Additionally, the bells provided the ancillary benefit
of focusing (or re-focusing) the attention of the faithful
inside the church to the miracle
that was taking place atop the altar of sacrifice."

Excerpt from Sanctus Bells by Matthew D Herrera

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The Last Mass of St Benedict, Fray Juan Rizi (Spain, 17th c)

"For bells are the voice of the church;
They have tones that touch and search
The heart of young and old."

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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