At Messa in Latino we see images of the Vetus Ordo consecration of a new bell at Rome’s traditional parish Ss. Trinità dei Pelegrini. Very cool.
The consecration of a bell in the old rite, often called a “Baptism” is magnificent, long and complex. As in the rites of baptism, the bells is washed with holy water, anointed with (oddly) the Oil of the Sick and Sacred Chrism, filled with smoke from burning thyme (or really thymiama, the recipe for which – equal parts of galbanum, stacte, frankincense and onycha) is, given by God to Moses, is a little hard to make now… but that’s another story), frankincense and myrrh, and then solemnly given a name.
Bells move and speak to us.
They call us to joy, prayer and action.
They mark the passing of time.
They warn us when there is danger.
They cry to the heavens when we suffer.
They mourn when we mourn.
Their silence can be deafening.
The rite of the consecration or “baptism” of a bell speaks to their use. They are intended to thwart the snares of enemies, increase our devotion, avert hail and storm and mitigate the wind, and “lay low the powers of the air”.
“Lay low the powers of the air lay low the powers of the air, so that hearing this bell they may tremble and flee before the standard of the holy cross of Thy Son depicted upon it.”
Let all our churches ring their bells proudly and without fear of intimidating complaints… the tell-tale sign of a guilty conscience.
The new bell, close up, named “Lúcia… Lucy”.
One of several photos at Messa in Latino: