posted 6 Sep 2011, 23:51 by Lisa O'Neill
updated 23 Oct 2011, 13:29
A special bell for the International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) to be held in Dublin in June 2012 is on pilgrimage throughout Ireland and will visit our Church in Howth on Sunday 25th September. The sound of a Church bell calling people to prayer is one of the most familiar sounds of Christendom. It is also a unique gift of the Celtic Church to the universal Church because the use of a bell to call people to prayer originated in these islands. Most of us are familiar with St. Patrick’s Bell in its beautifully ornamented case in the National Museum. The ruined bell tower of St. Mary’s Abbey reminds us that the ringing of a Church bell would have been very familiar to Howth people long ago.
This is why a bell has been chosen as a symbol of the 50th Eucharistic Congress. It reminds us too of how Irish missionaries nourished by the Word of God and by the Eucharist, brought the Faith (and the bell) first to Continental Europe in the Dark Ages and in modern times to people all over the world as the many mission Churches built by Irish priests, nuns, brothers and lay people around the globe bear witness. Despite technological advances, the ringing of a Church bell continues all over the world to be the familiar call to Mass or prayer such as the Angelus. Indeed the Angelus is a daily reminder of the Word made flesh and living amongst us. For more information visit www.iec2012.ie/bell