The Angelus

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For other uses, see Angelus (disambiguation).

The Angelus is an Irish radio and television programme first broadcast in 1950. On radio[1] it is broadcast at 12:00 and 18:00 every day.[2] On television, it is is broadcast at 18:00, immediately before the main evening news. Since 2009, the pogramme on television no longer includes Catholic imagery and the Angelus prayer itself is never broadcast.

The bells were first (and still are) recorded from St Mary's Pro-Cathedral,[3] although initially broadcast live.[4]

Radio Éireann first broadcast The Angelus on 15 August 1950. Minister of the Department of Posts and Telegraphs Leon Ó Broin and Archbishop of Dublin John Charles McQuaid had discussed the original idea in the late 1940s.[4]

The broadcast of the Angelus by RTÉ has been called into question from time to time.[5][6][7] A number of religious faiths outside Catholicism, notably the Church of Ireland and Presbyterian Church in Ireland, have called for its continuation.[8]

Television format[edit]

Televised programming began at Telefís Éireann's launch. Images shown were pictures of Annunciation.[4] More recently, it showed "a number of people of varying gender and ages pause to pray at the sound of the bell".[9]

2009 relaunch[edit]

From 21 September 2009, RTÉ Television relaunched The Angelus broadcast before RTÉ News: Six One.[3] It features seven different editions, with seven respective people for each one.[10] Featured people include a chemist from Finglas, a mother from Sixmilebridge, grandparents feeding swans in Shannon, a fisherman from Enniscorthy and an office worker from Zambia at her office near the Phoenix Park.[11] The one-minute feature attracts an average audience of 318,000.[3] It was developed by Kairos Communications.[11]


  1. ^ Hegarty, Shane (26 September 2009). "A joyous moment". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2009-10-04. 
  2. ^ Kenny, Mary (23 September 2009). "The angelus rings on". The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-10-04. 
  3. ^ a b c McGarry, Patsy (19 September 2009). "Angelus undergoes revamp but gongs remain the same". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2009-10-04. 
  4. ^ a b c "Irish Public Service Broadcasting - 1950s: Broadcast of the Angelus". RTÉ Libraries and Archives. Retrieved 2009-10-04. 
  5. ^ Sectarian ring of the Angelus, Wesley Boyd, The Irish Times, 3 March 2002, retrieved 24 April 2009
  6. ^ Learning the lessons from Ferns, The Irish Times, 10 October 2005, retrieved 24 April 2009
  7. ^ Angelus criticised as `wildly divisive', The Irish Times, 5 May 1998, retrieved 24 April 2009
  8. ^ "Future of Angelus on RTÉ debated". Irish Emigrant. 25 March 2002. Retrieved 2009-10-04. 
  9. ^ Collins, Dan (23 September 1998). "Angelus will sound the same but look different". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 2009-10-04. 
  10. ^ "RTÉ Launches a New Version of The Angelus". RTÉ Press Office. 21 September 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-04. 
  11. ^ a b Cooney, John (22 September 2009). "Angelus rings the changes with new views of life". Irish Independent. Retrieved 2009-10-04. 

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