A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.
Hollow metal cups that make a ringing sound when struck or rung. When blessed, they are sacramentals of the Church. The Mass bell is a small handbell rung at the elevation of the Sacred Host and Chalice to direct the attention of the congregation to this most solemn part of the Mass. In many churches and in some convents and monasteries the tower bells are rung at dawn, noon, and night, and also in the elevation in the Mass so that people nearby are made aware of the service and can join in prayer. A priest carrying the Blessed Sacrament to the sick in a convent or Catholic hospital is accompanied by a person carrying a bell announcing the presence of the Holy Eucharist. Bells are not rung at Divine Services from the Gloria on Holy Thursday until the Gloria on the Easter Vigil, denoting the Church's sorrow at the Passion and the death of Christ.
All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.