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Please help support the mission of New Advent and get the full contents of this website as an instant download.Includes the Catholic Encyclopedia, Church Fathers, Summa, Bible and more all for only .99...Specimens are still preserved of the bells used in ancient Babylonia and in Egypt, as well as by the Romans and Greeks, while the bell undoubtedly figured no less prominently in such independent civilizations as those of China and Hindustan.There is consequently no reason why the bells upon the high priest's ephod (Exodus ) should not have been tiny bells of normal shape.That bells, at any rate hand-bells of relatively small size, were familiar to all the chief nations of antiquity is a fact beyond dispute.The archaeological evidence for this conclusion has been collected in the monograph of Abbé Morillot and is quite overwhelming.
They were also carried into battle, and even though the earlier specimens are nothing but rude cow-bells, wedge-shape in form and made of iron plate bent and roughly riveted, still they were often enclosed at a later daye in cases or "shrines" of the richest workmanship. Patrick's bell bears an inscription of some length from which we learn that this beautiful specimen of the jeweler's craft must have been wrought about 1005.
It has been tolerated, but has never been formally recognized by the Church. Certain local "agenda" in which something of the sort is found, for example in Cologne (see Schönfelder, Liturgishe Bibliothek, I, 99-100) appear never to have received any official recognition (cf. On the other hand, the ceremonial of the Church is often imitative.
The rite for the blessing of palms closely follows the arrangement of the variable portions of the Mass.
The bells occasionally stored there for the sake of safety seem to have been regarded as the most precious of their treasures and from this circumstance the towers probably derived their name, though it is of course possible that they in some cases served as belfries in the more ordinary sense.
The great development in the use of bells may be identified with the eighth century. 33) we read that in the time of Ermharius who died in 738 that abbot had a bell made, to be hung in the little tower () "as is the custom of such churches"; while the "Monachus Sangallensis" (De Carlo Magno, I, xxxi) tells the story of a monastic bell-founder who asked Charlemagne to give him a hundred pounds of silver with a proportionate amount of cooper to provide materials for a single bell.
It was then, seemingly, that they began to be regarded as an essential part of the equipment of every church, and also that the practice of blessing them by a special form of consecration became generally prevalent. In any case it is certain from Charlemagne's "Capitularies", as well as from Alcuin, Amalarius, and other writers of the early ninth century that by that time in the Frankish dominions every parish church was expected to have one bell.