Our bell tower at the Church of the Transfiguration is at ground level, making it quite easy to view the bells being rung. In addition, there are glass doors through which you may observe.
If you ever have an opportunity to experience changing bells about to ring, you may hear the words, “Look to, treble’s going, she’s gone!” These words are spoken by the person ringing the treble bell (bell #1), the bell that weighs the least. “Look to” is the alert for all bells to prepare to ring; this includes the treble bell ringer making sure that all ringers are holding their ropes and that every rope is in the hands of a ringer.
At “Treble’s going”, every ringer adjusts their bell so that it’s on the balance, which means they won’t need to pull the bell overly hard to begin the process of it ringing. It will be ready to go at the slightest pull. Each ringer’s attention is on the two bells in front of them so they can “place” their bell, that is, have their bell ring exactly at the proper time so it sounds the way it should.
When “She’s gone” is called, the treble bell will pull their rope for the first ring, and each bell will follow consecutively. The larger bells take longer to ring than the smaller ones, so this needs to be taken into consideration.
We hope the next time you visit Cape Cod, you’ll include the Church of the Transfiguration and its unique bell tower on your itinerary. And you can listen for those very important words, “Look to, treble’s going, she’s gone!”