For whom the bell tolls
Cities are full of sights and sounds. Brunswick certainly is! There’s the noise of traffic along busy Glenlyon Road on which the church stands; the conversations of passers by and those who gather outside the Mechanics Institute; the ting-ting of the tram on the Sydney Road; the sounds of laughter and music from ‘The Retreat’ pub across the road well in to the night. All of these the sounds of life!
In the midst of all of that each day the bell of Christ Church tolls, adding to the mix the sound that is a reminder of God and the invitation to worship him.
It’s a tradition that goes back to around 400 AD and in the days before it was common for people to have watches (or iphones!) to the local community that it was time to come for worship.
At Christ Church we have worship every day and the bell is rung before we begin. That’s normally just before 7 a.m. on most weekdays and on Sundays before the 8 and 10 a.m. services.
However, passers by Christ Church may have noticed recently the revival of a very beautiful and meaningful tradition that takes place at 6 p.m. (and sometimes if the vicar is at home at Noon)
It’s the ringing of the Angelus bell. The bell is rung three times three times, and then nine times. It’s called the Angelus prayer because of the words and prayers recited as the bell is rung. The first words are ‘The Angel…’, Angelus in Latin.
In monasteries and some cathedrals it is rung three times each day at 6 a.m., noon and 6 p.m.. to be a specific reminder of the central teaching of the Christian faith, that is the INCARNATION which means ‘becoming flesh’. At the heart of the Christian religion is the belief that God ‘became flesh’, became human in the person of Jesus of Nazareth, which is why by the way, that for Christians the words and actions of Jesus are so important, the most important in human history.
The words and prayers that go with the Angelus bell take words for the Bible that tell the story of the Incarnation, and then add a prayer request to Mary to the Mother of Jesus to pray for us.
You could say that when the Angelus bell is rung, the Christmas story is tolled every day!
Designed to be prayed in community it can and is often recited by Christians when they are alone.
It goes like this: (The Bible passages that relate to it are in italics)
The Angel of the Lord brought tidings to Mary
And she conceived by the Holy Spirit. Gospel of Luke Chapter 1:35
Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Luke 1:28
Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus Luke 1:42
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.
Behold the handmaid of the Lord
Be it unto me according to thy word. Luke 1:38
And the Word was made flesh
And dwelt among us. Gospel of John 1:14
Pray for us O holy Mother of God
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ
We beseech thee O Lord, pour thy Grace into our hearts, that as we have known the Incarnation of thy son Jesus Christ by the message of an angel, so by his Cross and Passion we may be brought to the glory of his resurrection, through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.
We want to pray for you…
Every day at 6 p.m. a few people gather near the icon of the Annunciation in Christ Church to pray Evening Prayers. It’s then that the prayer requests that are placed in our Prayer Box in the Lady chapel by members of the congregation and passers by who come in to our open church are prayed. There is also a prayer request box near the entrance of the Op Shop in the parish hall.
Prayer is a mystery. What difference does it make? Sometimes it is hard to tell exactly, but the Christian tries to trust in Jesus who tells us to pray for one another, and that prayers offered with a true heart and trust are heard by our Heavenly Father.
When we pray for something or someone, we don’t tell God what to do, for who are we to tell Him what to do!
But with hope in our hearts, and reflecting about the appropriateness of the request, we entrust the need to the Father, whom Jesus says cares for us and knows our needs even before we ask. With compassion we allow the person we are praying for in to our own hearts, and we entrust them and their need into the heart of the Lord, where they rest secure.
Jesus knows what it’s like to be wounded, to be hurt, to weep and be disappointed. He knows what it is like to die. He knows our experience because he has lived it.
IF YOU HAVE SOMETHING OR SOMEONE YOU WOULD LIKE US TO PRAY FOR ,WE WILL PRAY
Why not send a message to us?
You might like to tell us your name (you don’t have to) and name of the person (just their Christian name if you prefer) and then a short description of the need and it’s our promise to pray every day for at least seven days.
For example….. ’ Please pray for John and Helen who are struggling with their marriage ‘, or
‘ Please pray for me, my name is Katie and I have cancer and don’t know my future’, or
‘ Please pray for my son James, who is addicted to ice.’
As we pray for your need to the Lord, it is our tradition to ask the prayers of Mary the Mother of the Lord. Just as we ask each other to pray, so we can ask those who are in heaven to pray for us to the Lord.
If you happen to be nearby, why not call in to the church and spend some time in the Lady chapel near the icon of the Annunciation where we say our 6 p.m. prayers…
If you prefer to submit your prayer requests online, please use the form below: