altar bells; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsArticle

Sacramentals of the Church, blessed with religious rites, and used to remind men of religion and of God, thereby increasing His grace in their souls. It is said that bells were introduced into Christian churches about the year 400 by Paulinus, Bishop of Nola, Italy. The ringing of bells or gongs in the sanctuary is tolerated by the Church, but these are usually not blessed. The ringing of the tower-bell at the Elevation of the Host and the Chalice at the principal Mass on Sunday is a practise dating from the 13th century, a signal, to those not present at the Mass, to kneel and adore. Bells are not rung from the Gloria of the Mass on Holy Thursday to the Gloria of Holy Saturday, to denote the Church‘s sorrow because of the sufferings and death of Christ. An acolyte, ringing a bell, precedes a priest carrying the Blessed Sacrament from one altar to another in a church or to the sick in a convent or in a Catholic hospital. A bell in art may indicate and exorcist or victory over demons as the bell, book and candle are elements of the rite of exorcism.

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Additional Information

MLA Citation

  • “bells“. Emblems of the Faith. CatholicSaints.Info. 20 February 2017. Web. 22 January 2022. <>