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Bells, Bells, Bells

Bells have been around since prehistoric times. In Medieval times, there were many superstitions associated with bells. Bells were baptized, then they were thought to have the power to ward off evil spirits and spells. Bells or strings of bells would be hung in doorways for visitors to ring to drive away the evil spirits which lurk there waiting for the opportunity to pass inside. Bells were rung when a person passed away to drive away malevolent spirits who might try to snatch the persons soul when he died. Ringers were paid to ring many bells to keep the spirits far away to give the departed soul a better start. The sound of consecrated bells could calm storms (which were caused by demons).

Bells are mentioned in the Old Testament, and priests were ordered to wear bells on their vestments and to use bells in worship. Bells have long been associated with religious ceremonies, both Christian and pagan types. The Romans brought bells to England, and the early founders of the Celtic church in Britain, Saints Aiden, Cedd and Patrick used four sided bells similar to cow bells.

Bells are thought to drive away evil spirits, restore harmony if a couple is fighting, and also remind a couple of their wedding vows. Giving a bell as a gift has become an Irish tradition, especially at weddings. Guests are sometimes given little bells at the reception to ring in lieu of clinking glasses.

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