Friday, 7 August 2009

The Bell Tower

The crane was up in the sky today.

Its main work was to bring down the bell tower.

A very delicate work. Health and safety are very important factors in this job.

It should be said that the ringing of the bells serves two functions in the Orthodox Church. The first is for calling the faithful to Divine Services, and the second is to announce the beginning of various parts of the Services to those faithful who are absent from the church.

There are different ways of ringing. Among them are the following:

- A measured striking of one bell for the beginning of a Holy Service.

- All bells are rung when a bishop approaches the church.

- Slow striking of each bell once beginning from the largest bell and proceeding to the smallest bell. After the chain, all bells are rung together. This is repeated several times. This is called burial or funeral ringing.

- Striking of each bell several times beginning with the largest bell and proceeding to the smallest bell. This chain is repeated as long as necessary. This is used before any Blessing of Water.

Greek bells are usually fixed, and are tolled by pulling on a rope that is attached to the clapper so that it will strike the side of the bell.

These days, fixed bells can be equipped with electric bell ringers, which are then wired to a keyboard for manual playing, or interfaced with a new electronic carillon control system to strike at the same rate as a swinging bell of the same size. This imitates a peal of swinging bells very well.

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