E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Bell, Book, and Candle.
A ceremony in the greater excommunication introduced into the Catholic Church in the eighth century. After reading the sentence a bell is rung, a book closed, and a candle extinguished. From that moment the excommunicated person is excluded from the sacraments and even divine worship.
Bell, book, and candle shall not drive not back.Shakespeare: King John, iii. 3.
In spite of bell, book, and candle, i.e. in spite of all the opposition which the Christian hierarchy can offer. (See CURSING.)