Church bells will soon be summoning worshippers on Christmas Eve and Day. All types of believers will fill church pews for one of the holiest days of the Christian year. Some will be regulars, others occasional, and some will be those who attend only on Christmas and Easter. Each believer will bring their own unique experiences and past to the Christmas celebration and the message of Christ’s birth will impact each person uniquely. Church bells will ring out Christ’s birth as we remember the incarnational moment of salvation.  

I Heard The Bells

People familiar with the towns of Lancaster, PA or Branson, MO might know of the Sight & Sound Theatre that brings the bible to life on stage. They recently branched out and decided to do their first theatrical feature on film with the movie I Heard the Bells. If you listen to Contemporary Christian Music, you’ve probably heard the Christmas song by the band Casting Crowns. The song is much older and has a long backstory to it. The song is based on the poem Christmas Bells written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in 1863.  Sight & Sound’s new movie, I Heard the Bells strives to tell the origin story of the beautiful poem turned song. 

4 Things To Learn From I Heard The Bells

Here’s what you can expect to learn from the film I Heard the Bells in theaters December 1, 2, and 5.  

1.  You will learn the story of one of the great American poets.  Let’s be honest, we live in an illiterate culture.  Maybe you’ve heard the name Longfellow, but what do you know about his life?  You will be introduced to his life and family.  

2.  You will learn of the tragic death of Longfellow’s wife and how that affected him for many years and how it halted his creative genius. Through his struggle, you will see how he overcame the trials of his life with the help of a local preacher.  

3.  You will see how a broken relationship between a father and son can be healed and reconciled.  

4.  And you will learn the story of why he wrote Christmas Bells.  Let’s just say, it’s more than just church bells ringing on Christmas Day.  It is a multi-layered and filled with meaning.  

The story of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is one that you don’t expect.  It’s a story of remembrance and triumph, a story of redemption and restoration of faith.  It’s a story about a bell that will ring again.  Will you hear the bells?  This film is in theatres for a limited time on December 1.  It is part of a Fathom movie release.  You can learn more about the film and how to buy tickets at:  

Catholic FAQ On I Heard the Bells

Is this film ok for Catholics to see?

Yes- It’s a movie with a Christian message and does not contradict Catholic teaching.  

Is this film ok for children to see? 

Maybe- The movie is set in the era of the Civil War and so there are some battle scenes.  Also, the death of Longfellow’s wife might be a difficult scene to watch for a child.  

Fr. Looney’s Rating: 

10/10- It was a well-told story that kept my interest and impacted my heart and soul.  

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