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Bell, Book, and Candle

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A ceremony in the greater excommunication introduced into the Catholic Church in the eighth century. After reading the sentence a bell is rung, a book closed, and a candle extinguished. From that moment the excommunicated person is excluded from the sacraments and even divine worship.

“Bell, book, and candle shall not drive not back.”—Shakespeare: King John, iii. 3.

In spite of bell, book, and candle, i.e. in spite of all the opposition which the Christian hierarchy can offer. (See Cursing.)

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Bel-fires
Belford
Belfry
Belial (Hebrew)
Belinda
Belinuncia
Belisarius
Bell
Bell
Bells
Bell, Book, and Candle
Bell of Patrick’s Will (clog an eadhachta Phatraic)
Bell Savage
Bell-the-Cat
Bell-wavering
Belladonna (Italian, beautiful lady)
Bellarmine (A)
Bellaston (Lady)
Belle
Belles Lettres
Bellefontaine (Benedict)

See Also:

Bell, Book, and Candle