The Angelus Prayer: Background information when reading Solar Bones

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Solar Bones

by Mike McCormack

Solar Bones by Mike McCormack X
Solar Bones by Mike McCormack
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  • First Published:
    Sep 2017, 224 pages
    Paperback:
    Aug 2018, 224 pages

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Chris Fredrick

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The Angelus Prayer

This article relates to Solar Bones

Solar Bones is set in the county of Mayo in Ireland, where the narrator can distinctly hear the village church bell ringing its "six chimes of three across a minute and a half;" he refers to it as the Angelus bell.

The Angelus bell is essentially a church bell that rings as a reminder to recite the Angelus prayer. The Angelus prayer recounts the biblical event known as the Annunciation, the moment when the Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and announced that she was to become the mother of Jesus, the son of God. The ringing of the bell seems to have come into wide use in the 17th century as a means of calling the Catholic faithful to recite the Angelus in the morning, at noon, and in the evening.

The Angelus takes its name from the first line of the prayer in Latin, "Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariæ," which translates to "The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary." The Angelus consists of a set of short verses and responses, three recitations of the widely-known "Hail Mary," and ...

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