It is customary on Holy Thursday, after the jubilant Gloria introduction, to stop ringing bells in church during the Triduum and, instead, use some kind of clacking or ratchet noisemaker called a crotalus in Latin.  More on those HERE.

Here’s a poll.  At your parish, for your Holy Thursday Mass, what did they use?  Choose your best answer and, if you are registered to comment, give us a description.  You don’t have to be registered to vote.

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  1. Red_Shirt_Hero says:

    Rang bells at Gloria, then silence. Sadly, no crotalus.

  2. konken says:

    Rang bells during the Gloria, and followed by crotalus.

  3. majuscule says:

    Rang bells during first part of Gloria only. Then stopped.

    (The server rang the Sanctus bells and someone rang the bell by the entry until Father gestured that it had been enough.)

  4. Cicero_NOLA says:

    I see that ChurchPop.com (now owned by EWTN) has an article today about the crotalus using images attributed to wdtprs.com.


  5. JMGcork says:

    Rang the bells during the Gloria. After that they remained silent. No noisemaker.

  6. jfrrll1941 says:

    It is part of the Hadith traditions that Mohammed abhorred the sound of the clappers used by the Nestorians he was familiar with.

    [I like that.]

  7. Persistant says:

    Father, you’re missing an answer, “rang the bells, then used neither bells nor crotalus”, that’s how it was in my parish. The bells will be silent till Gloria is sung once again during the Vigil and crotalus is also not used.

  8. Tim in Dixie says:

    Rang two sets of bell from either side of the sanctuary in an alternating pattern, then crotalus for the remainder of the Mass.

  9. JonPatrick says:

    Bells during Gloria, crotalus after that. Since we used the Roman Canon (OF) there was a crotalus at the Hanc Igitur, at the elevation, and at communion.

  10. oledocfarmer says:

    Previously our crotalus literally sounded like a hammer striking wood. It was chilling. Maybe disturbing.

    This year they switched to something that only rattled.

  11. Gregg the Obscure says:

    We also had bells at the Gloria and then neither bells nor crotalus. However that has been the practice at the parish since at least 2001 (the year I was received into Holy Church), so I wasn’t surprised.

  12. Ed the Roman says:

    Wasn’t a rattle, rather, a loud clacker.
    Plus side: Roman Canon!
    Minus side: the Roman Canon being very rarely done here, we skipped the Anamnesis by mistake.

  13. Southern Baron says:

    We had one very similar to the one pictured. As a member of the schola, I was in the procession to the altar of repose and close to it–it was quite loud, as always.

  14. capchoirgirl says:

    Bells at the Gloria, crotalus afterwards. And the Canon! Yay!

  15. Mike says:

    Some schola members and volunteers rang the bells in the campanile during the Gloria. After that, only crotalus. Church has good acoustics, so the resonation of the crotalus always makes a sobering impression.

  16. majuscule says:

    I already commented about the bells but since others have mentioned the Roman Canon I wanted to say that Father (who generally uses Eucharistic Prayer II on Sunday) used the Roman Canon! Last year he used it on Christmas and Easter. (I know, why not every Sunday…but this is progress!)

  17. frival says:

    No bells at the Gloria, but we did have the crotalus afterwards. Our young MC even brought one with us in the procession as we walked a mile through some pretty tough streets to the altar of repose. At every intersection he sounded the crotalus (as if the police lights and singing weren’t enough to notify the neighbors something – or rather Someone – was coming by).

    Since some others have mentioned it, Roman Canon, three priests, and the Mandatum was all male – the Deacon, a Deacon candidate, and ten altar servers. Praised be Jesus Christ!

  18. Fr. Thomas Kocik says:

    Bells at the Gloria, then silence (i.e., no noise at the elevations)

  19. Precentrix says:

    Bells at Gloria, no bells thereafter (but no crotalus either).

  20. Hidden One says:

    Bells rung steadily through the Gloria, nothing thereafter. Eucharistic Prayer I was used, but there were multiple errors in its recitation, which I attribute to how rarely it gets used around here. It’s pretty much the C&E Canon, as it were.

  21. Phil Steinacker says:

    I’m so glad you posted this, because I have long been distressed by the use of bells on Holy Thursday at my parish for reasons which will become clear.

    Like several others, our parish rang bells (notice I did NOT say “the” bells) at the Gloria. Also, like some others, we did not use the crotalus, either.

    That’s because we NEVER ring bells at the altar at the appropriate moments throughout the year. In fact, there are no bells at the altar nor do we own any such bells. Put another way, the ONLY times we ring bells all year is at the Gloria on Holy Thursday and at the Gloria on Holy Saturday night. That’s because the progressives who founded this parish hate bells, and our present pastor agrees.

    Here’s the clincher: I say “we” ring bells because some fool long before I arrived at this parish decided on a novel way the “community ” could more fully participate in the “liturgy” by having laity dispense small bells of various sizes to the faithful as they enter the church (or to bring their own… I’m waiting for sleigh bells to show up one year). And ring them they do with gusto, smiles, and occasional giggles as they entertain themselves.

    They are not only clueless about the original intended purpose of ringing bells during Mass (because we never do it), but they don’t grasp they are appropriating a distorted variation of the practice for their own self-aggrandizement and entertainment. It is plain to see that the suspension of bell-ringing can make sense ONLY if it is the actual practice all year, and if it is limited to the appropriate moments leading up to and at the Consecration.

    I was accompanied by a secular Jewish friend last night who is slowly checking out Jesus and His Church (she sees the Catholic Church as founded by Him). She still struggles with Jesus as Son of God, but is still drawn to come regularly to Sunday Mass. She was slightly amused at the foolishness of the bell-ringing, and even less so after my explanation, complete with my own dissent from it.

    She told me last night that she has come to love the sacred music she hears on EWTN at Masses from the Vatican at high holidays like Christmas and Easter, and that this Mass did not seem Catholic to her at all. I silently cheered her on, as we normally attend Sunday Mass at an Ordinariate parish where the reverence and preaching far exceeds what my own parish offers.

    Before anyone asks, I remain at my parish because I and others are working at setting the place on fire for Our Lord as we enter into a new pastorate with an adjacent parish. The Ordinariate parish is both an example of what can be, and a haven I can withdraw to should the efforts at my own parish become futile.

  22. KateD says:

    A crotalus was used throughout Mass of Our Lord’s Super at priory.

  23. Imrahil says:

    Bells at the Gloria (I assume, I was late), crotalus afterwards. Today, the crotalus was used for the opening of the Tabernacle for Holy Communion, once; and afterwards for the procession of the Blessed Sacrament in a veiled monstrance towards the Holy Sepulcher; they were used just when bells would be used at a normal Eucharistic procession, except there was no blessing. Does anyone know this practice?

    (It was my first EF Good Friday liturgy, and the hand-missals don’t know it.)

  24. jskelley says:

    Please add a poll option for bells during Gloria, no bells or crotalus after.

  25. iPadre says:

    Bells at Gloria and crotalus for everything after. We’ve been doing this since a parishioner donated the crotalus a number of years.

  26. Andrew says:

    Crotala are still being used? I haven’t heard the sound of a crotalum in decades.

  27. rhhenry says:

    No bells (of any kind) during the Gloria. Usual bells (handheld, rung by altar servers) at the consecration.

  28. Matilda P says:

    I was late, so I don’t know if there were bells at the Gloria. But there was a crotalus. Having not expected to hear one here, its sound was like death. Very sobering.

  29. jazzclass says:

    We did bells at the Gloria, crolatus at the Canon, and bells for the procession.

  30. frjim4321 says:

    We use the tower bells (on a timer) to announce the beginning of every mass. We never use bells during the Eucharist Prayer. So, there would be no reason to use the clacker.

  31. andia says:

    At my parish ( N.O. Masses) they had the bells and then the Crotalus. Haunting..although not as terrifying as the one we had when I was a kid. That one sounded like someone was using hammer and nails.

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