SMM Bells

Where were our bells made?

Our bells were cast at the Fonderie Paccard located in Annecy, France and were installed by the Christoph Paccard Bell Foundry from Charleston, SC. The Paccard foundry in France is over 225 years old, having cast their first bell in 1796!

How many bells are in the tower? When were they installed and how much do they weigh?

There are five bells in our tower.

  • Aflat3, installed in 2015 (1,157 pounds)
  • Bflat3, installed in 2016 (795 pounds)
  • C4, installed in 2022 (584 pounds)
  • Dflat4, installed in 2016 (474 pounds)
  • Eflat4, installed in 2022 (364 pounds)

We chose these five notes because they are the same notes as the tune of the opening words (“incipit”) of the “Gloria in excelsis Deo” chant, In Festis Apostolorum, found in the Graduale Romanum. These pitches comprise the first five notes of an A-flat major scale.

Are the bells named in honor of saints? Are there scripture verses on the bells?

Yes, to both questions!

  • Aflat3 — Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque (“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart.” Matthew 11:28-29)
  • Bflat3 — St. Michael the Archangel (“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart…and thy neighbor as thyself.” Luke 10:27)
  • C4 — St. George (“I am the good shepherd, and I know mine and mine know me.” John 10:14)
  • Dflat4 — St. Agnes of Rome (“God is love.” 1 John 4:8)
  • Eflat4 — Blessed Aimeé Bouteiller (“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Matthew 5:9)

When do the bells ring?

  • A festive 5-bell “call to Mass” peal is rung five minutes before each Sunday Mass.
  • A simple “call to Mass” with one or two bells is rung one minute before each daily Mass.
  • The hour is struck from 9:00am to 11am and 1:00pm to 5:00pm daily, with slight variations on Saturdays and Sundays due to the Mass schedule. Before the hour is stuck the bells play a short tune.
  • The Angelus rings at Noon and 6:00pm on weekdays and at Noon on Saturdays. Before the Angelus rings the bells play a short tune (different from the tune which plays before the hour strike).

What is the Angelus?

Click here to learn more about the Angelus: