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Chicago's church bells ring a call to prayer 5 times a day

Henryk Sadura - Shutterstock

J-P Mauro - published on 03/25/20

The Archdiocese website lists intentions for the community to pray together while in isolation.

In an attempt to promote unity while maintaining social distance, the Archdiocese of Chicago has asked all churches to ring their bells throughout the day.

The bells of a Catholic church have one primary function, to get the attention of the people. Whether they are ringing for a wedding, a baptism, Sunday Mass, or even just to let you know the hour has changed, they work to draw the congregation to church, or to at least think about church.

In Chicago’s case, they hope that the many Catholics of the Windy City will take to prayer when the hear the bells. Cardinal Blase J. Cupich has asked every church with bells to ring them five times a day, in three-hour intervals from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.. The primary intention that Chicago Catholics will be praying for are those who have coronavirus.

In a statement on the Archdiocese website, Cardinal Cupich said:

“Our hope is that people will have the experience of being united in prayer, especially at a time when we are isolated,” said Cardinal Cupich. “We invite our neighbors throughout the archdiocese to join in pausing and lifting up in prayer all affected, so they will know of our support. And if a parish does not have bells, we encourage parishioners to set their alarms to remind them to stop for a moment and unite in prayer.”

Catholics who take part in these city-wide calls to prayer can visit the Archdiocese homepage, where they will find the intentions of the day in three languages: English, Spanish, and Polish.

Each day will also have a special intention that will be announced on their daily Mass, which the Archdiocese of Chicago streams every morning during the coronavirus quarantine. Links to their daily Mass can be found on their website or Twitter feed.

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