Why is a bell rung during Eucharist?
When the liturgy was in Latin, people needed a cue to know when the holy moment of epiclesis came, that is when the bread and wine were transformed into the body and blood of Christ.
Today, we understand the words but the ringing of the bell can still emphasize and set apart key points of the prayers. It is customarily rung three times at the Sanctus, and three more times as the “elevations” of the bread and wine. It may also be rung as the clergy enter the church to begin the Eucharist.
Basically, the bell means “listen up, this is important.” Of course, any or all of these elements may nor may not be present in any particular celebration in any particular Episcopal church. They are all, however, part of our common tradition, whether used or not. The key word in Eucharist is celebration, when we gather to worship God in an Episcopal congregation – we celebrate God’s love for us and for all of his creation and our common life together in Christ.