The symbol of the bells is also important in the poem. Bells are traditionally a symbol of communication, and in Christabel they communicate both good news and bad, sometimes together. For instance, as Christabel's mother lies upon her death-bed, she expresses the wish that the castle bells ring twelve times on her daughter's wedding day. This way she will hear about Christabel's happiness from all the way up in heaven:
I have heard the grey-haired friar tell
How on her death-bed she did say,
That she should hear the castle-bell
Strike twelve upon my wedding-day.
Bells are associated here with the communication of happy news. But as Christabel's mother made the request on her death-bed, the story that Christabel communicates to Geraldine is also a sad one. The tolling of bells is also traditionally associated with funerals, sending out the message loud and clear that someone has recently passed away. Indeed, that's precisely how Sir Leonine communicates his deep anguish and sorrow over the death of his wife, which shows the profound effect her passing has had upon him.