Nationwide Bell-Tolling on November 11th at 11 AM (local time) in communities across the nation, to mark the centennial of the Armistice that brought an end to what Americans fervently hoped had been “The War to End All Wars.” This nationwide program is designed to honor those American men and women who served during the war, and coincides with similar commemorations abroad. The Armistice ended the war at 11 AM on November 11th, 1918.
The ringing of bells is a common feature in churches. Traditionally, church bells announce: (A.) the time of Holy Mass, (B.) the moment of Consecration during Mass (for the benefit of workers in the fields), (C.) the Liturgical Hours (Matins, Lauds, the three “Little Hours”, Vespers, Compline, etc.), (D.) the Angelus prayer at sunrise, midday and sunset, (E.) the Ave Maria at dusk, (F.) and the De Profundis in the late evening.
A single bell rings to accompany the Christian soul on the journey from this life to the next. The slow tolling (traditionally, the length of time between tolls is the time it takes to recite the Hail Mary) of the Passing Bell traditionally marks the final moments of a Christian’s life. Then, the Death Knell announces the actual time of death. Finally, processional tolls accompany the procession to the church for the funeral, and afterwards the procession from the church to either the church graveyard or the town cemetery.