The sound of a little bell rings out three times in one paragraph of Proteus as Stephen imagines priests in various churches and chapels performing their sacred rites: "elevating" the consecrated Host (the priest lifts the wafer toward the heavens and then kneels before the altar), "locking it into a pyx" (a receptacle for the holy bread), and "taking housel all to his own cheek" (housel is the act of administering or receiving the Host, so the priest is taking communion). At each of these moments Stephen imagines hearing the sound of the small "sacring bell" or "sanctus bell" that marks important moments in the Catholic liturgy.

John Hunt 2013

Elevation of the Host in a fresco by Simone Martini in Assisi, Italy, ca. 1325. Source: Wikimedia Commons.