bell, book, and candle


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bell, book, and candle

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.
See also: and, candle

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 ?
Bell, Book, and Candle (1950) is also the title of a play by John Van Druten (1901 - 57), about a beautiful present - day witch who falls in love with a man and loses her powers as a sorceress.