Showing posts with label cape broyle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cape broyle. Show all posts

Saturday, November 10, 2018

The Bells of Peace - the folklore of ringing, blessing, and naming of bells

This Sunday, November 11th, bells in communities across Canada will chime 100 times as the sun slips under the horizon to mark each year since the armistice. You can read more about that initiative here.

The ringing and use of bells has a long heritage here in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, and one of the intriguing parts of our bell history was the naming and christening of bells used in churches.

According to Sheila MacKenzie Brown’s 1981 Folklore MA thesis “The Church Bell Tradition in Newfoundland: A Reflection of Culture Change,”:
...when bells were first placed in the tower they were blessed before being used liturgically, the term 'baptised' also being used for the ceremony in the Christian religion. In his book "Questions Asked by Protestants Briefly Answered" Rev. M. Phillips describes the ceremony in the following manner:

Amid beautiful prayers the bells are washed with holy water, that they may become a pure agency in the worship of God. They are anointed with oil for the sick in the form of a cross, then seven times outwardly with the same oil, and seven times inwardly with holy chrism. The sevenfold unction with oil and chrism signify the fountains of grace flowing through the seven sacraments to which the bells call us. Thymia, incense and myrrh are burned under the bell. This fumigation symbolises the fragrance of prayer to which the bells call us. The gospel of Mary and Martha is read because the bells call us to the one thing necessary: the hearing of God's word. A name is then given to the consecrated bell, because by their respective names the bells are distinguished from one another and are placed under the protection of a patron saint.

In 1984, Cape Broyle resident Alphonsus O'Brien wrote down his remembrances of the local church bell, and gave a copy to the Rev. F. A. Coady. Here it is, as written by Mr. O'Brien:

Cape Broyle Church Bell 
This Bell came to Cape Broyle in August 1907. Its weight was 500 pounds.
It was blessed and baptized on September 25th 1907. The sponsors were James and Bridget Coady my grandfather and grandmother. The bell was named Lawrence in honour of our parish priest Rev Lawrence Vercker. It was blessed by Archbishop Howley. This bell was erected for use in May 1908. It was erected about fifty ft from the church which is now the parish community centre. It was erected on poles 20 ft high set in concrete foundations. The bell at that time gave great sound on a fair day it could be heard for about 4 miles. It remained in this place from 1908 to 1922. Then a new foundation to replace the old one on a concrete foundation only about 10 feet high. The sound of the bell on the new foundation was not as loud as before the movement was issued by Rev Father Maher.
In 1927 the Bell was put in the tower of the church. It was set up by James Rice issued by Fr William Ryan. The bell remained in the old church tower from 1927 to 1947 when the new church was built. Then Rev Fr M Kennedy had it moved in Oct’ 1947. John Hoyles the carpenter who built the new church set it up North of the road to the Priests House. The ringing of the Bell brought Joy to all the People and reminded them to come to mass. 
The bell served Cape Broyle for over 70 years and is no longer in use.
Alphonsus L O’Brien 78 years old

Andrea O'Brien in our office notes that the top photo here shows the "old" church he refers to circa 1950s. (photo courtesy Ronald J O'Brien). The photo below shows the present day church with bell to the right between the Sacred Heart and Blessed Virgin statues.

Do you know of a historic bell still ringing in your community? Let me know a bit about it, or send me a photo, and we'll showcase it in a future post!

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Dancing in Cape Broyle #FolklorePhoto

Photo courtesy Dot O'Brien.

This week's #FolklorePhoto is of a Halloween dance at the old Parish Hall in Cape Broyle. The style of dances that were popular at the time were jiving, waltzing and swing. This photo was taken in 1963.