*** Christianity -- bells

Christianity: Bells

Christianity bells
Figure 1.--This is the Tsar Bell. It is 6.14-meters high (20.1 ft), 6.6-meters in diameter (22 ft). It has beenn on display on the grounds of the Moscow Kremlin for centuries. It was third Russian effort to create a giant bell. It was commissioned by Tsarina Anna Ivanovna, niece of Peter the Great. It has never been in working order, suspended, nor rung. Voltaire quioped that the Kremlin's two greatest items were a bell which was never rang and a cannon (the Tsar Pushka) that was never fired. Here we see the Tsar Bell with school children (1883). The Tsar Bell can still be seen today in the same locatiion. As you can imagine, the Tsar Bell can not be easily moved.

There are interesting aspects of Christianity and other religions that are not theological in nature, or only tangently so. Ans one of these are bells and the importance in Christian practices. Bells and gongs are important in many religions. For Christianity it is primarily bells. While many religions use bells, no religion is more associated will bells than Christianity. And interestingly there is virtually no scriptural justification for this. Christianity is an off-shoot of Judaism. And there is virtually no reference in the Torah. There was some use of bells, mostly small bells on priests' robes--'bells of gold'. 【Exodus 28:31-35】 There is also no justification for bells in the New Testament. The Bible takes no position on bells and certainly does no suggest that churches should have bells. There is an indirect reference, instructing the faithful to 'make a joyful noise.' 【Psalm 100】 This could be used to justify bells as well as music. While not mentioned in the Bible, bells were soon a adopted by the early church. And this despite the fact that there was not only no scriptural justification and only limited Roman precedent. There were no bells associated with Christian worship as the Church evolved from the Jewish Jesus movement to a small religion within the Roman Empire (1st century AD). Nor were there any bells when Emperor Constantine adopted Christianity (4th century AD). This began to change with Bishop Paulinus of Nola (southern Italy) began using bells (400 AD). Nola was located in Campania, the region where Naples is located. Bells gradually increased in popularity in Italy. Since that time, many Christian churches have been ringing bells. Most churches had modest bells. Poorer churches had nine at all All the great cathedrals had beels, often imoressive ones. It was a matter of pride anong cities. Thuss ian Tsars and Tsarinas wanted tgec largest bell of all (figure 1). The practice is highly variable, but the bells are used for both spiritual and a range of more practical purposes, especially to call prisoners to worship. 【Smyth】 Pope Sabinian officially authorized ringing of church bells during worship. Pope Sabinian introduced the custom of ringing church bells as part of the the celebration of the Eucharist as well as to announce the times of daily prayer -- the canonical hours. This practice gradually spread throughout Europe. As new churches were built, the congreants usually wanted a bell. And the lack of Biblical origin, Protestants did not reject bells during the reformation. In a time before watches and clocks, Church bells were used to signal time. Various denominations developed a range of of uses. Western churches tended ton use church bells to call the faithful to worship. Eastern churches were more inclined to involve the bells in the Church services. Church bells were also used to commemorate important events such as coronations. During World War II, the British planned to ring church bells when the German invaded. And then the bells were rung to commemorate the great victory at El Alemein (1942), the first major British victory over German armies.


Smyth, Dolores. "What Is the origin and purpose of church bBells?" Christuianity.com (July 16, 2019).


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Created: 8:59 PM 10/13/2023
Last updated: 8:59 PM 10/13/2023