The Bells of Grace Church

If you spend enough time in Downtown Newark, you might have heard our tower bells ringing through the City streets.  

The bells of Grace Church ring under two sets of circumstances: For the Angelus throughout the week, and as a part of the worship of the congregation on Sundays and other major Feasts

The Angelus is a medieval practice of ringing the church bells in a pattern of 3, 3, 3, and 9 with an accompanying recitation of three Hail Mary's followed by a longer prayer. Traditionally, the Angelus is rung three times throughout the day, at 6 am, 12 pm, and 6 pm - perhaps to allign the the workday of a medieval farmer. Given the somewhat different workday of most Newarkers, we choose to ring our bells at 9 am, 12 pm, and 5 pm.

In the ringing and hearing of the Angelus, we hope to remind the neighborhood of the reality of sacred time- indeed, that ALL time is sacred, and that even in the midst of the trials and turns of a daily workday, time can be set aside for prayer. The text of the Angelus is reproduced below with the hope that those who read it might pray along with us. The Angelus is generally rung Tuesday through Sunday, and the bells remain silent on Monday for the staff sabbath.

 

V. The Angel of the LORD declared unto Mary,
R. And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.

Hail Mary, full of grace; the LORD is with thee: blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.

V. Behold the handmaid of the LORD.
R. Be it done unto me according to thy word.

Hail Mary, full of grace...

V. And the Word was made flesh.
R. And dwelt among us.

Hail Mary, full of grace...

V. Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray,
Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O LORD, Thy grace into our hearts; that, we, to whom the Incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection. Through the same Christ our Lord.

As a part of the Worship of the congregation of Grace Church, the bell is rung shortly before the beginning of mass, to call the congregation into the mindset of the mass. Additionally, the tower bell is rung at the elevation of the Bread and Wine, as well as three times at the Great Amen.