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Irish voters support daily Angelus broadcast

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Irish voters supported overwhelmingly last week a daily broadcast of the “Angelus Bells” on national broadcasting network RTE.

In a centuries-old custom, Church bells have rung daily across Europe at noon and 6 p.m., reminding Catholics to pause in schools, in farm fields, in offices, and in their homes, to pray the Angelus, a short prayer remembering the Annunciation and the Incarnation of Jesus Christ, and asking for the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Since 1962, Angelus bells have been broadcast on RTE daily- a minute-long video with images of men and women at prayer or quiet reflection, as bells peal in the background is played at 6 p.m., before the evening news. The Angelus bells are also broadcast daily on RTE radio at noon and 6 p.m.

RTE asked Irish voters about the daily television broadcast during exit polls it conducted amid the country’s Oct. 26 presidential election. 68 percent of respondents said they would keep the Angelus broadcast. 21 percent would stop it, and 11 percent declined to comment, RTE reported.

3,474 Irish voters were interviewed during the exit poll, outside 138 polling stations across the country.

The RTE Angelus bells broadcast does not include recitation of prayer. A 2015 report from an RTE executive quoted an Irish viewer who summarized his view of the daily broadcast: “To the person of faith, it’s a moment of grace; to the person without faith, it’s a moment of peace. What’s not to like?”