bell, book, and candle

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bell, book, and candle

1. A method of putting a curse on someone. The phrase refers to the implements once used when someone was excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church. I'll go after him bell, book, and candle if he threatens my family again.
2. Items that are symbolic or indicative of the strange or miraculous. She's the type of person who will come over with bell, book, and candle to try to bring about positive changes in your life.
See also: and, candle

bell, book, and candle things that are miraculous or that signal that something

unusual or bizarre may soon happen. (Alluding originally to the items used when performing the rite of excommunication from the Roman Catholic Church.) Look, I can't work miracles! Do you expect me to show up at your house with bell, book, and candle, and make everything right? You have to take charge of your own destiny! On the top shelf of the tiny used-book store, Jim saw a bell, book, and candle sitting in a row, and he knew he was going to find some very interesting reading material.

bell, book, and candle

a formula for laying a curse on someone.
This expression alludes to the closing words of the rite of excommunication, ‘Do to the book, quench the candle, ring the bell’, meaning that the service book is closed, the candle put out, and the passing bell rung, as a sign of spiritual death.
See also: and, candle
References in periodicals archive ?
She did star alongside James Stewart and Jack Lemmon in Bell, Book And Candle in 1958 and the same year made her best-known film, Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo.
It's 50 years since Middlesbrough Theatre opened its doors and Bell, Book And Candle appeared in the theatre group's first season.
Her film co-stars were no less illustrious: She starred with James Stewart in Bell, Book and Candle and with Shelley Duvall and Sissy Spacek in Robert Altman's 3 Women.
He has written more than two thousand songs, among them the title songs for such film successes as Picnic; Houseboat; Sleeping Beauty; and Bell, Book and Candle.
Reader opened her improvised set with Bell, Book and Candle and her warm voice seemed to invite the other musicians on stage to join in.