Sancte-bell, Sanctus-bell, Saints-bell, Massbell

Sancte-Bell, Sanctus-Bell, Saints'-Bell, Massbell (old English forms, Sacring-bell, Saunce-bell), a small bell used in the Roman Catholic Church to call attention to the more solemn parts of the service of the Mass, as at the conclusion of the ordinary, when the words "Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus, Deus Sabaoth" are pronounced by the priest, and on the elevation of the host and chalice after consecration. It is now usually, if not always, a small handbell carried by an attendant, and was generally of this kind in England previous to the Reformation, made sometimes of silver; but in some instances a larger bell was used, and was suspended on the outside of the church in a small turret, made to receive it, over the archway leading from the nave into the chancel, and rung by a rope from within. Many of these turrets still exist, as at Isham, Rothwell, and Desborough, Northamptonshire; Boston, Lincolnshire; Bloxham, Brize-norton, Swalcliffe, and Coombe, Oxfordshire, etc.; a few still retain the bell, as at Long Compton, Warwickshire. Occasionally, also, a number of "little bells were hung in the middle of the church, which the pulling of one wheel made all to ring, which was done at the elevation of the hoste."

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