In my first post regarding 'Exotic Cleveland', I mentioned that Fr. V. has re-introduced 'Sanctus Bells' during the Eucharistic Prayer, you know the little set of three or four bells that are rung by the servers during the Epiclesis (the calling down of the Spirit) and during the Elevation of the Sacred Species.
In the Comments of that post, the every present anonymous mentioned: "It must be hard to pray with those bells."
This being the interweb and all, it is hard to tell if this little comment was tongue in cheek, or a snide swipe at my fellow priest.
While he can explain it best, part of the discussion over the weekend centered around the use of these bells. His point, we do not celebrate anything important in this culture with silence. Go to the Red's Game (I know, pointless without Griff), if Dunner hits a homerun: loud noise, fireworks, cheering, rock music. Go to a Bengals game (again, why?), a touchdown brings celebration.
Certainly, those types of celebration are inappropriate during the greater Celebration of the Mass, where we welcome the Lord of the Universe truly into our midst. (yes, present in presider, community and Word, but now in a presence that is enduring: when everyone else leaves, HE's still there!) The ringing of the Bells gives the faithful an assistence in the assent to the recognition of Christ's true presence. Therefore, I see them as a value, and wish that we could use them at the Cathedral, but it hasn't happened yet. (They are waiting on my shelf, ready to be called on, though!)
So, my dear Anonymous, please feel free to come back and comment, sign your name if you wish, it is not that I expect you to agree, but it is that the ringing of three or four little bells help us to experience the Catholic Liturgy in all of it's finest, for Liturgy is not an act solely of the mind, but also of body. Hence, we use candles, incense, processions, vestments, and yes, even bells.