MERGED: Altar Bells/Holy Thursday bells


#1

Hopefully I can get some answers here. Internet search yielded nothing.

Why is it that the altar bells ring continuously during the Gloria during Holy Thursday Mass and again at the Easter Vigil?

I think it's to draw attention to the Gloria, of course, but why exactly? Thanks,


#2

[quote="pamnbam, post:1, topic:320740"]
Hopefully I can get some answers here. Internet search yielded nothing.

Why is it that the altar bells ring continuously during the Gloria during Holy Thursday Mass and again at the Easter Vigil?

I think it's to draw attention to the Gloria, of course, but why exactly? Thanks,

[/quote]

It's not so much to draw attention to the Gloria itself, but rather it's the last time that we'll hear that joyous sound until the Resurrection is proclaimed.

When I was growing up, the story we were told was that all the bells flew to Rome at that point and didn't return until Easter.:)


#3

Hmm, interesting. I might have to try the bells flying to Rome story with my little one! Thanks!


#4

Does anyone know...are the bells rung at the Gloria at the Easter morning Mass?


#5

[quote="pamnbam, post:1, topic:320740"]
Why is it that the altar bells ring continuously during the Gloria during Holy Thursday Mass and again at the Easter Vigil?

[/quote]

Because after the Gloria of Holy Thursday, the bells are not supposed to be rung again until the Gloria of the Easter Vigil. So they are rung continuously on Holy Thursday because it is the last moment of joy until we enter into the Passion, and they are rung continuously at the Vigil because it is the moment of victory.


#6

The ringing of the bells at any time during Mass (well, there are only the bells at the consecration and sometimes when the priest consumes the Host, then at the Gloria as you said) is a physical sign of our interior joy at those occasions.

During the consecration, when the Holy Spirit comes down upon the gifts and Our Lord becomes truly present in the form of bread and wine but with the substance of Himself, body, soul and divinity, the bells are a physical expression of the utter and complete joy we should be experiencing at such an event.

At the Gloria, it is the same. Because He is risen, and we are filled with joy!


#7

It wakes up people for the best part! :D


#8

[quote="aemcpa, post:5, topic:320740"]
Because after the Gloria of Holy Thursday, the bells are not supposed to be rung again until the Gloria of the Easter Vigil. So they are rung continuously on Holy Thursday because it is the last moment of joy until we enter into the Passion, and they are rung continuously at the Vigil because it is the moment of victory.

[/quote]

I love this! Thanks for the explanation!


#9

[quote="aemcpa, post:5, topic:320740"]
Because after the Gloria of Holy Thursday, the bells are not supposed to be rung again until the Gloria of the Easter Vigil. So they are rung continuously on Holy Thursday because it is the last moment of joy until we enter into the Passion, and they are rung continuously at the Vigil because it is the moment of victory.

[/quote]

This.

On a related note, I gave a child behind us in mass last night a little something after mass because I heard him whisper to his mum at the consecration - "there should be bells, why aren't there bells?" So nice to see a young child noticing the details of mass (and their omission at certain times).


#10

[quote="Annabelle_Marie, post:4, topic:320740"]
Does anyone know...are the bells rung at the Gloria at the Easter morning Mass?

[/quote]

No. The church bells are rung at the Gloria at the Holy Thursday Mass and then remain silent until the Gloria at the Easter Vigil, symbolizing Christ's victory over death. I assume that the bells would ring at the regular time since they rang at the
Gloria the night before, but they are not usually rung at the Gloria on Easter morning.


#11

I wondered what was going on with that on Thursday night.


#12

Never seen it put this way. Is this liturgically correct? You answer makes sense and I do not mean to offend and I apologize if I have done so.


#13

[quote="Annabelle_Marie, post:4, topic:320740"]
Does anyone know...are the bells rung at the Gloria at the Easter morning Mass?

[/quote]

If you're referring to the vigil after midnight when it's Easter Sunday, but not morning as in people are usually awake, at my parish in the EF they are rung indeed. We even ring the church bells outside...in the middle of the night... It's such a joyous occasion that sleeping should be prohibited at that moment. :D


#14

[quote="Phemie, post:2, topic:320740"]
It's not so much to draw attention to the Gloria itself, but rather it's the last time that we'll hear that joyous sound until the Resurrection is proclaimed.

When I was growing up, the story we were told was that all the bells flew to Rome at that point and didn't return until Easter.:)

[/quote]

That's interesting. I read an article about the Triduum, and this is what it said:

At the evening Mass, after the bells ring during the Gloria, they are rung no more until the Easter Vigil (a wooden clapper called a "crotalus" is used insead). Parents explain this to their children by saying that the all the bells fly to Rome after the Gloria of the Mass on Maundy Thursday to visit the Popes. Children are told that the bells sleep on the roof of St. Peter's Basilica, and, bringing Easter eggs with them, start their flight home at the Gloria at the Easter Vigil, when when they peal wildly.


#15

[quote="JerrySeibert, post:12, topic:320740"]
Never seen it put this way. Is this liturgically correct? You answer makes sense and I do not mean to offend and I apologize if I have done so.

[/quote]

This is what Paschales Solemnitatis, the Vatican authoritative document regarding the Holy Week liturgies, says about the bells on Holy Thursday:

  1. During the singing of the hymn "Gloria in excelsis," in accordance with local custom, the bells may be rung but should thereafter remain silent until the "Gloria in excelsis" of the Easter Vigil, unless the conference of bishops or the local ordinary, for a suitable reason, has decided otherwise. [56] During the same period, the organ and other musical instruments may be used only for the purpose of supporting the singing. [57]

Traditionally, the bells are not rung between the two Glorias because of the Church's mourning of the loss of her Savior. Aemcpa is right.


#16

What a beautiful God we have! What a wonderful Church! May we always be thankful!


#17

What’s the purpose of the bell ringing during the Gloria on Holy Thursday? Is it to signify the silence of the church bells and musical instruments or just the Church bells? I heard that it was the former and so I was thrown off by the playing of the guitar during communion and their presence during tonight’s Good Friday liturgy.

Also are the bells supposed to be rung reverently and solemnly; celebratory, or both?

Thanks; I didn’t know about the bell ringing until last night; so I’m wanting to learn their purpose. It was never explained to me; they came as a complete surprise.


#18

The bell ringing on Holy Thursday is celebratory in nature. Our Lord has instituted the Eucharist and Priesthood on that day, so the bells are rung to be a physical expression of the Church's joy. The silence of the bells from that point on Holy Thursday until the Gloria at the Easter Vigil is to symbolize the Church's mourning of her savior. The bells then ring again at the Gloria on the Easter Vigil because Christ is risen from the dead. The Church rejoices!

I believe that musical instruments are to minimized during that time period as well, only accompanying congregational singing if necessary.

The Vatican document on the Preparation of the Easter Feasts, Paschale Solemnitatis, states the following:

  1. During the singing of the hymn "Gloria in excelsis," in accordance with local custom, the bells may be rung but should thereafter remain silent until the "Gloria in excelsis" of the Easter Vigil, unless the conference of bishops or the local ordinary, for a suitable reason, has decided otherwise. [56] During the same period, the organ and other musical instruments may be used only for the purpose of supporting the singing. [57]

#19

the congregation at my church are in for a surprise tonight as the priest has asked us as choir to bring along any noise maker to use throughout the ringing of the bells tonight. What little do they suspect unless word has got around.... We got some of those party blower whistles. am actually looking forward to the effect unless as usual not many go but the ones who are there.... :thumbsup:


#20

[quote="englishredrose, post:19, topic:320740"]
the congregation at my church are in for a surprise tonight as the priest has asked us as choir to bring along any noise maker to use throughout the ringing of the bells tonight. What little do they suspect unless word has got around.... We got some of those party blower whistles. am actually looking forward to the effect unless as usual not many go but the ones who are there.... :thumbsup:

[/quote]

:bigyikes:


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