The bells, which are amongst the oldest sound instruments, have always been associated with Christianity from the first centuries when its influence began to spread. While marking out the passage of time since the Middle Ages, their primary function is liturgical: With they're ringing and chiming they call the faithful to come together and pray, combining their song with the joy and suffering of the Christian community.
All Hallows Church, built in 1960, was constructed with a formal campanile, one of the tallest such towers in Sacramento. Bells, however, were not installed. In an incident humorous in retrospect, then-pastor Reverend Cornelius O'Connor came into possession of a large, brass locomotive bell, donated to All Hallows by a Southern Pacific Railroad retiree. Then-Bishop Alden J. Bell, learning of this, declared that a locomotive bell was absolutely not to be installed at All Hallows, and that a proper church bell should be obtained instead. Father O'Connor, notably stubborn, refused to obtain a new bell and declared instead that All Hallows shall have no bells. That declaration was made in 1963. Not until 2007 was this corrected. A chime system was installed, and bells sounded from the All Hallows bell tower for the first time. In 2008, the system already required repair, and was removed from service. They were returned to service over Easter weekend, April 11 and 12, 2009, fully refurbished and with a brighter, crisper sound. We hope you enjoy the "Bells of All Hallows." For more information on the history of bells in the Churches of western civilization, see below. A note to All Hallows' neighbors: See below for full bell schedule, opportunity for comments and questions via e-mail, and information on what's new for this Christmas 2009.
» 8:30 AM - Angelus listen (to announce start of daily Mass in Divine Mercy Chapel)
» Noon - Angelus listen (summons to prayer)
» 6:00 PM - Angelus listen (Call to prayer)
» 9:00 AM - Hymn (summons to Mass)
» Start of Mass - Angelus (The chimes are also rung 15 minutes in advance of the start of all major services [Confirmation, Graduation, and other events], at the start of the service, and at the conclusion of the service.)