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The bells

Cité épiscopale d’Albi

While “Tiburce” and “Notre-Dame-du-Mont-Carmel” have been restored, a new bell, “Emilie-Carissime,” has been purchased thanks to donations from the people of Albi. It was consecrated on the 26th July 2010.

The regional cultural affairs committee has financed the refurbishment of the belfry containing the bells of the Cathedral of Sainte-Cécile in order to give the Cathedral a peal of bells to match its magnificent bell tower. Its previous decrepit state effectively rendered it mute.

“Tiburce,” in place since the 19th century, and “Notre-Dame-du-Mont-Carmel,” half the weight of “Tiburce” but in place since 1773 and classed as an historical monument, were both in need of repair.

They were transported to a factory at Trementines in the Maine-et-Loire and heated to 800°. The worn metal was replaced to restore the original thickness of the bells before they were returned to Albi and rehung.

A fifth bell in E-flat, called “Emilie-Carissime,” was bought thanks to donations from the people of Albi (who contributed 40,000€) and was produced on the 10th July 2010 at Strasbourg by the Voegele company.

Inaugurated on the 26th July 2010, “Emilie-Carissime” found its place in the belfry beside “Notre-Dame-du-Carmel” (380kg) and “Tiburce” (800kg).

“Emilie-Carissime” was named in homage to a local saint. Carissime lived in the 6th century in a monastery beside the Tarn between Albi and Terssac.1

The decoration of the new bell includes themes representing the Cathedral of Sainte-Cécile: the organ, the fleur-de-lys of the Virgin Mary, a crown and the palm leaf representing the martyrs.

An inscription in Latin appeals to Sainte-Cécile:

Santa Caecilia ora pro nobis, “Saint Cecilia, pray for us”

On the opposite face of the bell is an image of Christ reborn and inscribed under this image:

O REX CHRISTE GLORIAE VENI CUM PACE, Christ, King of Glory, come in peace

referring to the announcement of Christ’s return at the end of time in the Book of Revelations.

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