Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Mexico City's Metropolitan Cathedral: Twenty-Five Bells

The largest cathedral in the Americas.

It houses 25 bells.

One of the most beautiful texts of the Roman Rite had been the blessing of bells in the Roman Pontifical.  So solemn a ceremony! 

The bishop would wash the bell with holy water, inside and out.  He would beg God in a prayer that at the sound of the bell the devotion of the people would be enkindled, that all disturbances of the elements would be calmed, that the air would be healthful, and that at the sound of the bells the spirits of evil would depart at the sign of the cross marked upon it.  The bishop then took the oil of the sick, and with it made seven signs of the cross on the exterior of the bell at different places, reciting at each the words: "May this signal, O Lord, be sanctified + and consecrated +...  Then with the same formula he signed the interior of the bell with four crosses, equidistant from each other, with holy chrism.      

The sound of the crash and peal of bells, summoning all to prayer, is magnificent.

Heard inside the government offices in this wonderful, European capital city. 

1 comment:

  1. Bells like architecture can be used as a teaching tool. Buildings themselves are paths to wisdom.