St Patrick’s Day Bells to be rung across Ireland

We will be asking people all around Ireland to “Ring for Renewal” on St. Patrick’s Day. We are inviting people to pause on the journey of life, to withdraw from busyness for a moment, to reflect on how they can renew as people and as members of the Church as they prepare for the International Eucharistic Congress. The idea is for people to engage in the path of personal and Church renewal which is the agenda of the Eucharistic Congress and to join the journey in a personal way.

What bells will be ringing that day?

We are asking all Cathedrals and Churches to ring their Bells for two minutes at 12 noon and 6pm inviting people to renewal – both personal and communal.
We are inviting parishes, churches and chapels to leave a Bell at a suitable place in their churches/chapels/Cathedrals for people to ring it as they go out from Mass or if they are going in to pray at a different time of the day.
We are inviting faithful at home to pause and reflect as they ring a bell at any time of the day. Ringtones of the Eucharistic Congress Bell chiming will be made available to download on mobile phones from the Congress website for those who wish to.
Public figures will be invited to ring a Bell that day in different parts of the country and the world.
We are inviting people that are seeing/participating in parades around the country to ring a bell also.

Why ring a Bell?

For Christians the bell has long been associated with the invitation to gather, the sound being perceived as God’s voice, God’s call, which draws people to assemble. For early Christian Ireland the sound of the bell of St. Patrick and other great saints across the land heralded the dawn of a new and eternal day for the Irish people – called to hear the good news – Jesus Christ, the Word made Flesh – and in turn become bearers of this news to others, far and near. The image of the bell is still used to convey joy, celebration and the announcement of good news. Combined, the image and sound of the bell symbolise for us God’s call to all people to gather to hear good news.

With the chiming of bells, we invite people to a moment of stillness inviting the Christian community to pause on the journey of life, to withdraw from busyness for a moment, to reflect. We invite people to come together drawn by the sound or the peal of a Bell.

The symbol of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress is a Bell.  Like the Olympic torch prepares for the Olympics, the Eucharistic Congress Bell has been going all around Ireland calling people to prepare for the Congress since last St Patrick’s day. Now, having gone to each of the 26 dioceses in Ireland, the Bell will travel to Rome for this year’s St. Patrick’s Day, bringing an international aspect to this call to spiritual renewal in the heart of the Catholic Church. Like St. Patrick’s Bell, the Congress Bell is being rung across the land calling God’s people together, to hear anew the good news that God is present among us and calls us to communion.

How will the 50th International Eucharistic Congress bring renewal to the Church in Ireland?

The 50th International Eucharistic Congress is being seen as a unique opportunity for renewal of the Christian life, it is taking shape as a genuine moment of renewal in the Church. Read the address from Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin on “Reform of the Church in Ireland: Facing the Future with Hope”. Read address
“Like the new growth in springtime, renewal in the Church will be made up of many elements.” Read how Fr. Kevin Doran, Secretary General for the IEC2012, envisages renewal will surface among the daily themes for the 50th International Eucharistic Congress. Read address

What we ask from you

Would you be able to ring the bell of the Cathedral/Church for two minutes on St Patrick’s Day at 12 noon and 6pm? We would like all churches in the country to join in this call to personal and Church renewal. Thank you very much.
By all means, if you would like to organise professional bell ringers in your own Church or other ways of ringing bells, please feel free to do so.  If you can, let us know so that we can promote this as well.
The IEC2012 office will be uploading posters for this event on a special section of the website: www.iec2012.ie/promote as well as explanatory brochures. These will be uploaded in the next couple of days. We would appreciate if you could print them out and put them up on your Church, as well as mention the event to the faithful and encourage them to join in. We invite you to invite the faithful to ring bells in your Cathedral throughout St. Patrick’s Day as described earlier.

Thank you very much for your attention and we hope that you can join us on this event,

Tommy Burns
Armagh Delegate to IEC2012
tburns@eircom.net

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