De Benedictione Signi vel Campanae

The bishop dressed in a white cope and simple mitre, accompanied by levites, altar boys and the clergy arrives to the place where the bell is properly hung. In front of the bell stands a faldstool, on which sits the bishop; the rest does similarly. The only persons who stand are the crucifer with the acolytes (on the other side of the bell in front of the bishop or, if they would not be visible, on his right side). The bishop starts (saying) the psalm 50, which is continued by the choir, he himself says it with the assistants. The same is done with the following psalms: 53, 36, 66, 69, 85, 129.

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The consecration of the bells in the parish church of Saint Mary Magdalene in Poznań by cardinal Hlond.

Having sung the psalms, everyone rises to their feet and the bishop begins to bless salt and water by praying an additional prayer, in which is included, among others, a beautiful plea: “wherever the sound of this bell reverberates, may the power of enemies, shadows of ghosts, violent gales, the strikes of lightning and thunders, the calamity of inclement weather and all attacks of the storms; and when its sound is heard by the Christian children, may their piety grow big in them, so that they come in the bosom of the holy Mother Church and in the congregation of the saints sing a new song to You”. Afterwards the bishop, saying proper blessing, three times pours the salt into the water in a shape of the cross; subsequently he prays an ordinary prayer in this ceremony.

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Primate Hlond during the consecration of the bells in the church in Rogalin.

The bishop receives the mitre and rinses the bell’s lip (rim) outside and inside with the blessed water. When he sits and starts praying the psalms 145-150, simultaneously sung by the choir, two clergymen wash the bell outside and inside and afterwards wipe it with linen. After finishing these activities all rise to their feet, while the bishop makes the sign of cross on the bell with the thumb dipped in the oil of the sick. Subsequently, without the mitre, he prays a prayer, during which he blesses the bell. After the prayer he dons the mitre and wipes with linen the place where he made the sign of the cross.

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Archbishop Parent during the consecration of the bells in the church of Saint Eusebius in Rimouski (Canada).

The bishop intonates the antiphon Vox Domini, which is continued by the choir; afterwards it sings the psalm 28 and repeats the antiphon. In the same time the bishop anoints the bell by drawing seven crosses on the outside with the oil of the sick and four crosses on the inside with the chrism. Every time the bishop draws the sign of the cross two times and blesses the place three times: Sancti+ficetur, et conse+cretur, Domine, signum istud. In nomine Pa+tris, et Fi+lii, et Spiritus + Sancti. In honorem sancti N. Pax tibi. Having finished the anointing, the bishop (without the mitre) prays a prayer during which he blesses the bell.

21-Poswiecenie dzwonu
Sanctificetur, et consecretur, Domine, signum istud…

The bishop in the mitre sits on the faldstool, wipes and washes his hands. Subsequently he pours incense, myrrh and thymiama (a mixture of scents) into the thurible (or a proper vessel) on incandescent coals. The thurible is placed under the bell so that the smoke fills its interior. In the same time the choir sings an antiphon and the psalm 76. After the chant is finished, the bishop rises to his feet and prays a prayer without the mitre.

Benedizione Campane
Deus, in sancto via tua: quis Deus magnus sicut Deus noster?

After the prayer bishop sits and dons the mitre. The deacon with the subdeacon don maniples and assist the bishop while he impose incense in the thurible. Afterwards a blessing and a procession take place, as they usually do before the Gospel. The deacon sings the Gospel of Luke (Luke 10, 38-42). After it is finished the bishop kisses the book of Gospels and is incensed similarly as during a mass. The levites take off the maniples, while the bishop, having donned the mitre, makes the sign of the cross over the bell and, if such a custom exists, hits the heart of the bell in its bowl. Accompanied by the sound of the bell, all leaves for the place where the bishop takes off his vestments.

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The Gospel during the consecration of the bell of Saint Stanislaus Kostka in the church in Luboń by the suffragan bishop of Poznań, bishop Dymek.

[English translation by Marek]