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What is the Catholic fascination with bells?

I hear them on clear days with a small wind. I love the sound. I wish I lived closer to a Catholic Church so I can listen for them on the hour. Almost every Catholic Church has them and rings them daily.


Asked by Anonymous at 10:32 PM on Jun. 26, 2009 in Religion & Beliefs

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Answers (18)
  • In the Catholic Church, bells are also used to signify the moment of consecration. When the Latin rite was primarily used, small bells were wrung (and still are in some churches) to signify the moment of the miracle when bread/wine become the body/blood of Christ to call people's attention to the miracle. So beyond the larger bells, there are other bells used within the context of worship. I'm very blessed to attend a church where our priest hand rings a bell in front right before Mass begins to "call" everyone to church. Even though it's greatly symbolic in it's use now, I love how it calls me to the present moment. As in so many things of life, how something originates does not mean that is it's sole purpose as it becomes part of culture/life. Which is why church bells are no longer JUST used to called people to church. They are now multi-functional, hence my previous response.

    Answer by JPsMommy605 at 9:11 AM on Jun. 27, 2009

  • My belief is that is a carry over from the predominatly pagan era

    Answer by wanderingmuse at 11:04 PM on Jun. 26, 2009

  • We have a large Methodist church close to our house with a HUGE bell tower that rings several times a day. It is also right on the lake, so they have lake side services in the summer.

    Answer by VeronicaLee at 11:45 PM on Jun. 26, 2009

  • many religiousn use bells or gongs orthings that initiate a loud vibration. and many beliefs associate vibrations with heavenly presence because they radiate thru your body

    Answer by moki1984 at 11:49 PM on Jun. 26, 2009

  • hahah from pagans... LOL everything knows goes back to pagans LMBO

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:26 AM on Jun. 27, 2009

  • Its prolly from pagans cause even the statues they call saints are pagan Gods and goddess in real form. They were given saint names as a way to convert pagans or gentiles to the christian reform. the statues are only used by catholics though.

    Answer by rhanford at 12:38 AM on Jun. 27, 2009

  • Bells have multiple purposes. They can be rung to call people to church, to announce significant moments (such as ringing bells at the consecration of the host), and to celebrate (such as wedding, etc.). They are beautiful and reflect a small part of God's beauty in our world. They call our attention to the things beyond ourselves. They make us pause and listen, and maybe even reflect. It's always a good idea to stop and just listen when you hear a bell. It's also just like stopping to smell roses...taking a moment to live IN the moment.

    Answer by JPsMommy605 at 12:40 AM on Jun. 27, 2009

  • Bells are traditional in the established christian faiths, not just RC. They were used to summon people to church and date from times when churchgoing was almost compulsory, most people were illiterate and had no way of telling exact time, nor did they need to, They were not originally intended to inspire beauty and reverence, just get people to church, but with the passage of time, as bell making and usage became more sophisticated, greater pride was taken in their tone and ' orchestration '. . Sadly, many bells you hear today are electronic and just not the same as the manual ringing which used to prevail.

    Answer by janet116 at 2:12 AM on Jun. 27, 2009

  • janet116 is right on the mark. They were used to call people from great distances or those who were illiterate to service.

    Answer by IhartU at 7:27 AM on Jun. 27, 2009

  • I was going to say the same thing.. Bells were used to call people to worship. Just as the Adthan ( a recitation calling people to prayer) is used in Islam to call people to worship the Creator. I have several catholic churches in my area and i hear the bells clearly. And i agree they sound electronic. When im in Puerto Rico.. i also here the church bells.. The difference there is that they are hand tolled so they vibrate.

    Answer by Aasiyah at 8:15 AM on Jun. 27, 2009