ANGELUS, an´je-lus: The ordinary name (taken from its opening word in Latin) of a Roman
Catholic prayer, recited three times a day, when
the church bells ring at 6 a.m., at noon, and at
6 p.m. It consists of three versicles and responses,
each followed by a “Hail Mary!” and a collect,
which is the same as that for the Annunciation in
the Anglican Prayer Book, the whole forming a
devotion in honor of the incarnation of Christ.
In its present form it dates from the middle of the
sixteenth century, though the custom of ringing
bells at certain times of the day to remind the
faithful of certain prayers is at least as old as the thirteenth.