Wooden clackers are back! With the renewed interest in traditional liturgy making a comeback, so are wooden clackers for use during the Holy Triduum. Wooden clackers, whose official name is “crotalus” (meaning “rattle”), are used in place of altar bells in the Catholic church during Holy Triduum. The sweet rings of altar bells are not appropriate after the Gloria on Holy Thursday through the Gloria on Holy Saturday. Therefore rare instruments, like wooden clackers, are used to maintain an appropriate somber mood where the altar bells would be rung. The clacker is sounded at the consecration of the gifts during the liturgy of the Eucharist, reminding the congregation of the awesome transformation that takes place at these moments.
Why wooden clackers you may ask? The Catholic Church did not specify what should be used in place of altar bells for the Holy Triduum. Therefore, an instrument that simply “made noise” and provided a somber tone was needed. Hence, wooden clackers were brought into the liturgy. F.A. Dumont offers wooden clackers that are sturdily constructed from wood, ensuring your worship community years of use.