Loyola University Chicago

Campus Ministry

Division of Mission Integration

Bell Schedule and Prayers

The bells of Madonna della Strada Chapel ring daily, beginning Monday through Friday at 8:00 a.m. and on Saturday and Sunday, beginning at 9:00 a.m. Throughout the day, they mark time by ringing every fifteen minutes using a melody known as Madonna Quarters. They stop ringing every night at 9:00 p.m. with the ringing of the De Profundis toll of nine strikes.

Throughout history church bells have rung in a variety of ways to signal to people when and what to pray. The bells of Madonna della Strada follow this time honored tradition of calling people to prayer throughout the day.

The Angelus peal is rung at 12:00 p.m. noon and 6:00 p.m. which consists of three strikes of the lowest bell, three times (1-1-1, pause, 1-1-1, pause, 1-1-1) followed by a short peal of the lowest three bells. The word Angelus refers to a prayer that begins, “The angel of the Lord (angelus, in Latin).” The Angelus is a set of three verses from scripture (Luke 1:28, 18 and John 1:14) about the Incarnation of Christ coupled with three Hail Mary’s followed by a concluding prayer that reads: “Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord.” This popular devotion originated with the extended prayers of the monks and nuns, who prayed seven times a day, including at sunrise, noon, and sunset. Since most lay people did not have the time or training to say the extended prayers from the Church’s Liturgy of the Hours, the simple and easily memorized Angelus met the needs of the average layperson who wanted to pray with the Church at sunrise, noon, and sunset. Church bells signaled the times for saying the Angelus at the natural breaks within the day. When they heard the bells, laypeople would stop their work and pray the Angelus, while the monks and nuns would begin their extended prayers. The Angelus bell is an invitation for all Christians, both lay and religious, to unite in prayer.

At 9:00 p.m. the bells of Madonna della Strada ring De profundis”, which consist of nine strikes of the lowest bell. De profundis refers to the first words of Psalm 130 in Latin: “Out of the depths”. This penitential psalm was often prayed as part of the Church’s liturgy for the dead. Traditionally, when the De profundis bell rang at the close of day, it reminded people to pray for the dead. It is only natural to pray for the dead at the close of day when people retire for the evening since the Church prays that the faithful departed would “rest in peace.”

During the week, Monday through Friday, the James bell swings for three minutes to call worshippers to prayer before the 12:00 p.m. noon Mass. On Sundays, the bells swing for 3 minutes prior to Masses at 10:30 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. Before Taizé Prayer on Wednesday evenings during the fall and spring term, a peal of four bells rings for 3 minutes as a call to worship.

In regard to the Chicago noise ordinance, there are two which the university follows in respect to our students and neighbors:

1)      Prohibition of noise disturbances between 10:00pm and 8:00am.

2)      There is another citation in the Chicago Ordinance on page 5, 11-4-2820 (a) that says the noise disturbance cannot continue on for more than 5 minutes in an hourly period.