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A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

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ALTAR BELL

A small bell, originally kept at the epistle side of the altar, rung at the Sanctus and Elevation during Mass as an invitation to those present to alert them to the solemnity of the Eucharistic consecration. In some countries, the bell was also rung first before the Consecration, and before the Communion of priest and the faithful. Although no longer prescribed by the rubrics, it is a laudable and approved practice to ring the altar bell at least at the Elevation of the Host and the chalice.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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