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A bell tower is a tower that contains one or more bells, or that is designed to hold bells even if it has none. Such a tower commonly serves as part of a church, and will contain church bells, but there are also many secular bell towers, often part of a municipal building, an educational establishment, or a tower built specifically to house a carillon. Church bell towers often incorporate clocks, and secular towers usually do, as a public service.

In Christianity, many Anglican, Catholic, and Lutheran churches ring their bells from bell towers three times a day, at 6 a.m., noon, and 6 p.m., summoning the Christian faithful to recite the Lord’s Prayer, or the Angelus, a prayer recited in honor of the Incarnation of God. In addition, most Christian denominations ring church bells to call the faithful to worship, signaling the start of a mass or service of worship. In many historic Christian churches, church bells are also rung during the processions of Candlemas and Palm Sunday; traditionally, church bells are silent from Maundy Thursday through the Easter Vigil.

This photo is outside of Saint Gregory the Great Catholic Church in Virginia Beach, Virginia.


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