Thursday Thirteen No. 13: Bells

I heard a girls' choir sing the "Carol of Bells" last week at a Christmas concert. On the way home, I heard "Silver Bells." Out for a walk, I heard sleigh bells shaken by a golden retriever who wore them on her collar. All the bells were magic. Bells, bells, bells. What about bells? They've been around for a long time:

1. Bells have been used by different civilizations in religious rites even before the development of a written language. The first bells were cast in China 4,000 years ago, and

2. The first Christian churches to have bells were in Italy around 500 AD, where the Benedictine monks in the Campana region learned how to cast them.


3. They are mentioned in Exodus as part of Hebrew worship, and ancient artwork shows them decorating the robes of priests.

4. Handbells were the first bells to have appeared in England, the Romans using them to summon their servants.

5. The ringing of bells became the means of telling time. Priests rang the bells before worship.

6. Servers at masses of the Roman Catholic Church and among some High Lutheran and Anglican churches ring small hand-held bells when the priest raises the host and the chalice to indicate that the bread and wine have just been transformed into the body and blood of Christ, or, in the alternative Reformation teaching, that Christ is now bodily present in the elements and that what the priest is holding up for them to look at is Christ himself.

7. In medieval times bells were steeped in superstition. They were baptized, and once baptized bells had the power to ward off evil spells and spirits. (more)


Comments

  1. Very interesting info, thanks! and I love your Wordless Wed. pic, she is quite pretty.

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  2. Very interesting info, thanks! and I love your Wordless Wed. pic, she is quite pretty.

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  3. What great info...thanks so much for sharing. Happy TT and thanks for stopping by:)

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  4. awww what a great idea!!! Happy TT and Merry Christmas!!!

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  5. Very interesting. Thanks for that!!

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  6. That was fun and interesting. Is that you playing?

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  7. Interesting! Bells are nice especially at Christmas. We have an old farm bell mounted on a post in the yard.

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  8. Sandy, thanks for stopping by 2nd Cup. And ... now that I see you're an English instructor, thanks for not pointing out the errors I found upon re-reading my post. Yikes. Loved your list. One of my favorite sounds in the world is a horse's jingle bell. Thanks for the interesting TT.

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  9. Great, original idea for TT.

    Happy TT!

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  10. Wow. I knew nothing about bells. LOL! Happy TT!

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  11. I love bells! My mother used to collect them :) Happy TT, and Happy Holidays!

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  12. Christmas bells are lovely, Sandy. I have a friend who plays the bells at her church on Christmas Eve.

    Thanks for visiting my TT post. Come visit at my other blog for Christmas hugs: http://workofthepoet.blogspot.com

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  13. I love bells, my friend used to play bells in church, always thought it was see pleasing to listen too.

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  14. great info and picture!

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  15. Interesting facts. I just love new information. Thanks for sharing.

    Thanks for stopping by and happy TT!

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  16. Even though Im back from vacation and feeling blah, I took some time to post for my friends on my wordpress blog! http://palofmine.wordpress.com check out my Thursday Thirteen!

    ! Come take a look, and visit my cruise pictures! myspace/maydakmom

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  17. I was not expecting "music." It scared me! Haha!

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  18. I love bells. Our church was supposed to have two great bell towers and there is a mural inside that shows St. Joseph with the church in rome and our church with the bell towers, but the bell towers were never built... so they play bell sounds over loud speakers before mass and you can hear them clear across town. If you happen to be on the street when the bells go off it is impossible to have a conversation.

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  19. Certainly many things I didn't know! What a fascinating post!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. Happy T13!

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  20. Anonymous7:09 PM

    Sandy, I always learn something on your blog! Thank you.

    Here's another for your list, from that great movie:

    "George and Mary then hear a bell ring on their Christmas tree. Zuzu exclaims, 'Look, daddy! Teacher says, every time a bell rings, an Angel gets his wings.' George quietly agrees, saying, 'Attaboy, Clarence,' as 'Auld Lang Syne' rings out."

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  21. Anonymous12:37 AM

    I had no idea! :)

    Thanks for visiting my WW, too. Loved the duck pictures. :)

    (I talked about the Solstice in TT this week.)

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  22. Greg,
    Thanks for the quote from that wonderful movie. That's the part that gets me every time I watch that masterpiece.

    Last night we heard William Kinsolving read "A Christmas Carol" at the library in Washington. (He was all characters and the narrator.) I was struck (no pu intended) by the numbers of bell references in that ghost story. I guess I was looking for them!

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