On Orthodox Christian Bells
NOTE: PDF DOWNLOAD - Practical Training for Bell-ringers: Director of the Arkhangelsk School for Bell Ringing
Bell Ringing Rubrics - On Bells: From Archpriest Rostislav Gan's
Russian Orthodox Bell Ringing: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Russian Bells: What did St. Innocent know, that we don’t?
Russian Bell Ringing: A free collection of bell recordings - in Russian
When to Ring Bells: Translated by Rev. Victor Sokolov and Kirill Sokolov
On Bells and Their Ringing: Article from newspaper, "Russian Life", in April of 1983.
The Bells: Copyright 1986 by the St. Tikhon's Seminary Press
Bells & Russian Orthodox Peals: Missionary Leaflet # E50a Copyright © 2001 Holy Trinity Orthodox Mission
A Brief History of Russian Bells: In the one-thousand-year history of Christian Russia, bells have played a rather prominent role. Fr. Roman Lukianov Overview of the Origin and History of Russian Bell-Founding: John Burnett, MA
Traditions of Orthodox Bell Ringing: From ancient times church bells were perceived as living beings in Russia. Each of them was given a special name. Before raising a bell up to the chapel it was consecrated, the ritual corresponding to the sacrament of christening.
The Bells: A striking component of Orthodox worship is the ringing of bells. Every daily cycle of public divine services starts with the ringing of bells
Russian Orthodox Bell Ringing
Russian Orthodox bell ringing has a history starting from the baptism of Rus in 988 and plays an important role in the traditions of the Russian Orthodox Church. In Not only did Communism muffle the voices of the Russian Orthodox faith, it also silenced its soundtrack - the ringing of the bells. In the 1930s the Soviet authorities melted down for the metal tons of bells from churches. Once silenced, Russian bells ring again. Campanology is the study of bells — the methods of casting and tuning them, and the art or science of ringing them. The Russian Orthodox so loved the ringing of church bells that they have enriched it with ingenuity and art. Bell ringing is enjoying a major revival. Orthodox bells ring at a harmony (often a seventh).
A striking component of Orthodox worship is the ringing of bells. Every daily cycle of public divine services starts with the ringing of bells and no one who has witnessed the procession around the church at Holy Pascha can forget the almost continuous ringing of all the church bells.They are rung at specific times in the worship services using a peculiar method of pulling ropes with arms and legs or simply hitting taught pull-ropes.
Usually a separate structure, the Bell Tower, was constructed to contain the bells, but more often in modern times a belfry is erected over the entrance to the church building, within which the bells are placed. The purpose of ringing the bells is to call the faithful to services, to inform those absent from divine services of the various important liturgical moments of the services, as well as calling the worshippers to concentrated attention at these same moments. It is also used to signal the arrival of the Archpastor at the church or monastery. There are four basic types of bell-ringing in the Russian Church: The Announcement (Blaguvest' - announcing); the Peal (Trezvon - three bells); Chain-ringing (Perezvon - across (or linked) bells); and the Toll (Perebor - broken (or interrupted).
Technique of ringing: The bells in Russian tradition are rung exclusively by tolling and never by pealing. For tolling bells a special complicated system of ropes is developed and used individually for every bell tower. All the ropes are gathered in approximately one point, where the bell-ringer stands. Some ropes (the smaller ones) are played by hands, the bigger ropes are played by legs. The major part of the ropes (usually - all ropes) are not actually pulled, but rather pressed. Since one end of every rope is fixed, and the ropes are kept in tension, a press or even a punch on a rope makes a clapper move.
It's also important that no melody be rung, but rather a complicated poly rhythmical sequence of sounds. These sequences have a very special harmony, since Russian bells (unlike European ones) are not tuned into single note. European bells usually have an octave between the loudest upper tone (ring) and the loudest lower tone (hum). Russian bells have a seventh between these sounds. Generally, a good Russian bell is tuned to produce a whole scale of sounds (up to several tens of them).
Types of ringing: Russian Orthodox services provide different types of bell ringing. Different ringing is used on different days (on working days, on Sunday, on holy days, during fasts, Lent, Easter etc.) Different ringing is required for different services (for morning service, service for the dead, Liturgy, etc.). Different ringing is used at different moments of the service (before the Liturgy, during the most essential parts of Liturgy etc.). There are several names for different types of bell-ringing: blagovest, perezvon, trezvon, etc.
Russian Orthodox Patriarch Alexy II speaks in front of a church bell during a blessing ceremony in Sergiyev Posad, Russia, about 55 kilometers (35 miles) northeast of Moscow, Thursday, July 18, 2002. The Patriarch on Thursday blessed two giant church bells made to replace a pair that were torn down from a tower at the country's holiest site and destroyed 72 years ago under Soviet dictator Josef Stalin. The bells have President Valdimir Putin's name cast on their side in relief. (AP Photo/Tanya Makeyeva)