Bell, Book, and Candle
A ceremony in the greater excommunication introduced into the Catholic Church in the eighth century. After reading the sentence a bell is rung, a book closed, and a candle extinguished. From that moment the excommunicated person is excluded from the sacraments and even divine worship.
“Bell, book, and candle shall not drive me back.” —Shakespeare: King John, iii. 3.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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