curfew bell

The signal for the close of day and the cessation of activity. It was first used in Normandy, 1601, to summon the people to prayer, after which they should not again go abroad. In the absence of a town-bell the curfew and the Ave were probably rung upon the same bell at different hours, and this accounts for the connection in some localities, between the curfew and the recital of the three evening Aves, or Hail Marys.

New Catholic Dictionary

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