Liturgy & Liturgical Law Forum: Re: Handbells during Lent

Re: Handbells during Lent QUESTION from S. Jarvis on February 9, 2003 Dear Mr. Slavek,
With regard to the recent question regarding the use of bells during Lent, I would like to draw attention to the practice of using bells during the Gloria on Maundy Thursday and again during the Gloria at the Easter Vigil, the use of all bells, including the sacring bell, being absolutely forbidden during the intervening period.
I know this was specified in the rubrics of the Tridentine Mass, and believe it is still in the rubrics of the current Missal.
I have three further questions relating to the use of bells at this time.
(i) Is it still in order to replace the warning bells at Mass witha clapper (as was the case in the Tridentine Rite)? - I feel this would be appropriate to focus the attention of the congregation, and to warn of the imminant start of a Mass, but have only come across one church that does this.
(ii) What is the position regarding the ringing of bells such as those for the Angelus and the start of services (particularly in Religious houses)during Lent?
(iii)Are any exceptions made for feast days occuring in Lent (when vestments are wite or red)?
Thank you in anticipation,
Yours in Christ,
ANSWER by Mr. Jacob Slavek on February 14, 2003 Dear Mr. Jarvis,
Yes you are correct, these rubrics are also found in our missal now.
For your questions:
1. The use of the clapper is not found in liturgical texts: it neither in nor out of order, to use your own words. I really don't see a problem with using it though since it does exist in our tradition.
2. Each religious order may decide how to use bells during Lent, as long as they silence them during those portions of Holy Week. I do not know what the customs are since I have never vistited an order during Lent, but I guess that you can find orders that use them abd some that don't.
3. Your question is not clear: Exceptions from what? Bell ringing is permitted through most of Lent. If you are going back to the original question, which was about musical instruments, the answer is no, there are no exceptions mentioned for feasts.
Mr. Slavek
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