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Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Advent Bells


If Advent, or the month before Christmas, is a season of fasting, so, after a kind, is it of gladness too.  Alleluia, that word of ghostly joy, is sung forth at Mass; at Matins, the invitatory chanted contains this exhortation:
Regem venturum Dominum, venite adoremus
The Lord, the King who is about to come, come let us adore.

In past centuries, as now, high personages, especially the sovereign, on nearing the town to be honoured by their presence, were greeted with a festive peal from the church bells. Knowing that after a spiritual way, the King of kings is then about to come in the flesh to see and save sinners, our fathers thought it well to do out of reverence from Him not less than they did towards the princes of this world.  Hence, upon most evenings for those four weeks, this land used to be all astir, not with sad, but joyful sounds; and the bells in every church steeple swung forth their peals of gladsomeness for hours through the damp cold darkness of the night, with the tidings that the celebration of Christ's first visit to us in the flesh was drawing near.  In many a place throughout our land, the Advent bells are yet rung, but the meaning of the custom is forgotten. — cf. Daniel Rock, DD, The Church of Our Fathers, Vol III, p. 293-294.

Following in the tradition of our fathers, on Papa Stronsay the Advent bells ring forth for half an hour every night of the novena of Christmas, joyfully proclaiming the imminent arrival of our King amongst us!

"The bells...swung forth their peals of gladsomeness...through the damp cold darkness of the night, with the tidings that the celebration of Christ's first visit to us in the flesh was drawing near."
Br Felix and Br Edmund ringing the Advent bells.

2 comments:

Zephyrinus said...

How lovely.

How Divine.

An indication that today's materialistic, liberal, atheistic,
World has eschewed such Prayerful actions during Advent.

Indeed, it is probable that any Bell-Ringing
would be banned on the grounds of
"intruding into one's peace and quiet".

May The Advent Liturgy sustain and strengthen
all The Community on Papa Stronsay.

in Domino

Anonymous said...

Thank you sharing - can you imagine this in Rutland street, Christchurch :) God Bless you all!

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