Why do we use Clappers on this Night, Daddy?

Mmm. A new opening line for those parishes who do a re-enactment of the Passover liturgy on Maundy Thursday perhaps?

Peter Holmes asked me what the “clappers” are all about at the consecration on Maundy Thursday.

We didn’t have clappers at our Parish, but we did (for the first time in my memory) have bells during the Gloria. (Nb. In general the celebration last night in my local parish was very dignified. Not completely rubrical in all matters, but dignified nonetheless. I’ll settle for that for the time being. Today I went to St Benedict’s in Burwood for Good Friday liturgy–more about that anon).

Now the bells and the clapper are related. According to the Fish Eaters website (not sure who runs it, but it appears to be a “traditionalist” Catholic who knows these things):

At the [Holy Thursday] evening Mass, after the bells ring during the Gloria, they are rung no more until the Easter Vigil (a wooden clapper called a “crotalus” is used insead). Parents explain this to their children by saying that the all the bells fly to Rome after the Gloria of the Mass on Maundy Thursday to visit the Popes. Children are told that the bells sleep on the roof of St. Peter’s Basilica, and, bringing Easter eggs with them, start their flight home at the Gloria at the Easter Vigil, when when they peal wildly.

One wonders whether these parents are the same ones who refuse to let their children believe in the Easter Bunny.

Also, Cooees has a funny story about what happened to the Clappers at Brompton Oratory.

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2 Responses to Why do we use Clappers on this Night, Daddy?

  1. Peter says:

    Thanks for the explanation David. By the way, the link to my blog is http://www.cumgranosalis70.blogspot.com/

    The fellow over at http://www.cumgranosalis.blogspot.com/ will enjoy the hits ;)

  2. Schütz says:

    Ta. I’ve corrected the mistake. I don’t want to endorse the other site…

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