Eucharistic Congress Bell

The Eucharistic Congress Bell is a key symbol of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress. From its origins in the Dominican Convent of Portstewart, Co. Derry, the Bell was more recently used to ring in the Jubilee Year 2000 in Glendalough, Co. Wicklow.

The Bell will reflect the invitation to faith, to prayer, to reconciliation and to mission which has always been important in our Christian tradition and is no less so today. The pilgrimage of the Bell throughout the Dioceses of Ireland, and beyond, will be a vehicle to:

  • Invite people to deepen their communion with Christ and with one another
  • Promote the pastoral aims of the Congress
  • Invite all Christians to join in giving a common witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ in an increasingly secular society
  • Animate the people of your Diocese to become involved with the Eucharistic Congress both locally and nationally
  • Invite people to come to the Congress from June 10th to 17th 2012
  • There is a strong emphasis on the inclusion of young people in the Eucharistic Congress Bell Pilgrimage however it is not exclusively a youth project.
  • The pilgrimage should include the infirm, senior members of the community, and an outreach to the families and of the children preparing for sacraments (Baptism, Confirmation, and Communion).

Design
We were approached to lead the design process to make a carry frame to allow the bell to be carried on pilgrimage throughout the Dioceses of Ireland. The bell is an appropriate symbol, because the bell is a call to prayer.

Our design for the carry frame makes reference to some images that we found representing the ark of the covenant in the old testament. We developed the design to include a carry frame like a stretcher, and a podium base on which to set the bell for ceremony.

  • The podium was designed to allow the hanging of icons on each of its sides.
  • We used durable hard wood to make the frame, because of its inherent strength, even when cut to smaller cross sectional area.
  • We wanted to keep the weight of the frame light also so it would not be too difficult or heavy to carry.
  • We also wanted to make sure the scale of the frame as in proportion to the size of the bell.
  • We selected Chestnut, which is an attractive timber with nice even grain, this was sourced in Tipperary.
  • This wood is very durable, and we used stainless steel fittings with which to attach the four icons.

The link to the IEC2012 website page concerning the bell is as follows.

http://www.iec2012.ie/index.jsp?p=109&n=3853