Bells: Purpose, size, history, identification of etc.

Is there is any specific reason why Mission San Carlos has 9 bells.

San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo was a prominent mission, headquarters of the mission chain during Fr. Serra's life and located near Monterey, the civil and military headquarters of California. Accordingly, the mission was sent a significant number of religious objects and "church equipment." The Spanish authorities also decided to build a special stone church at Carmel and sent an architect / master stonemason, Manuel Estevan Ruiz, to build a the present church (between1793-1797).

Please name the missions that have bells.

All the missions had bells. There is a complete list of the 21 missions, by location on our website.

The mission bells were hung in a bell tower or companario, or in some missions in a bell wall. They were used to notify the inhabitants of church services (the day started with the ringing of bells), to announce daily events (meals, for example) and to signal the arrival of visitors. The bells were rung extensively on feast days as part of the festivities.

I have a collection of old bells. Can you help me find out anything about my bell collection or refer me to someone?

In about 1893, when interest in “saving” the old Spanish missions was gathering steam, Ms. Anna Pitcher of the woman’s club of Los Angeles proposed that the historic trail of the mission era (El Camino Real) be preserved. By 1904 a plan had taken shape and a group of women formed the El Camino Real Association. This ultimately led to the creation of large marker bells, some 400 of which were placed along the highway and at each mission. One of the key movers and shakers in this effort was Mrs. A.S.C. Forbes.

Why did the missions have bells?

Bells were used in the missions to call everyone to the church for services starting at sunrise, to communicate the time of day and to regulate daily life in the community. In the mission era neither the priests nor the Indian neophytes had watches.

The mission bells started the day and summoned everyone to morning mass. The bells were also rung at noon to announce the midday meal and at sunset, when the bells called everyone home from work.