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42422Re: [liturgy-l] tolling the death bell

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  • Douglas Cowling
    Mar 2, 2012
      Re: [liturgy-l] tolling the death bell On 3/2/12 8:45 PM, "Frank Senn" <fcsenn@...> wrote:

      Does anyone on this list know if there is a tradition of tolling the death bell the number of times equal to the number of years the deceased lived?  If so, when is that done?

      The tolling of bells was one of those pre-Reformation custom which somehow managed to survive the dismantling of the cultus of the dead under Edward VI and re-enforced by the Puritans. The custom is still observed in some English parishes and to a lesser extent in the colonies.  Princess Diana had muffled bells at the end of her faux-funeral, but I don’t think it had anything to her age.

      But hang on to your lunch for this example of the “Treasures of the Anglican Patrimony” ...

      Many low churches concluded their Good Friday service with the tolling of the funeral bell 33 times for the 33 years of Jesus.  One wag told me that he was once convulsed with giggles when the tolling bell ran into the noon bell of the clock tower.

      Don’t get me started on concerts of Mozart’s Requiem on Good Friday ...

             Doug Cowling
              Director of Music
              St. Philip's Church, Etobicoke


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