#4 The Angelus

April 9, 2008 at 7:25 pm Leave a comment

 

Irish people have a passion for the Angelus on RTE because the Irish have a passion for bell chimes and what they mean. The Irish national broadcaster RTE broadcasts the angelus bells at 12pm and 6pm every day on the national radio station RTE Radio 1 and at 6pm on the national television station RTE One. The television version of the Angelus at 6pm consists of a bell ringing for the duration of one minute and is accompanied by images of people pausing in contemplation. 

The sound of bells mean different things to different Irish people; there is the bell chime from our school days to announce the end of class or get back into class, there is the bell chime in the local shop that announces when we enter and want to be served fast and it’s a great anti-shoplifting measure. Irish people are condition to respond to bell chimes from a very young age. 

To the Irish the best bell chime of them all is The Angelus on RTE. The Irish love the Angelus because it is time out and a marker for the day. Time out is always good for Irish people because it allows them to think about life and their ultimate destiny because all the other times they are thinking about property prices and the cost of childcare. It appeals to the Irish psyche to drop everything and just say nothing. Most Irish people in the know will bless themselves and say a few prayers. Some Irish people try to carry on conversations while the Angelus chimes in the background but it just doesn’t work. That bell is incredible effective in making any Irish person contemplate the higher issues in their lives and then suddenly its news time. The chime of the Angelus is very reassuring and brings order to the Irish day.

Periodically, the broadcast of the Angelus becomes the focus of public controversy especially with the secular liberators. The main point of their argument seems to be that the ringing of a bell promotes a particular Irish belief to the exclusion of all other beliefs and that an arm of the state (RTE) should not be promoting any belief. 

But the Angelus along with News and the Weather Forecast are the longest running ‘items’, on RTÉ. The Angelus has been broadcast almost every day since 1950 and most Irish people hope it never stops ringing.

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Entry filed under: The List of Being Irish; What Are We Like?. Tags: .

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