I now contemplate Lent from a distance and the perspective of Holy Week. Lent, that season we set aside time from busy lives to seek the solace of quiet, prayer, reading and reflection. This simpler life is also part of our simpler ringing. During Holy Week our bell tower is silent as we await the single tolling bell on Good Friday.
In contrast, on Palm Sunday we rang our bells with gusto as the congregation waved palm branches and we processed to church, singing ancient Gregorian chants written primarily for this festival day.
At 3:00 PM on Good Friday, we rang a single bell, one with a heavy, sonorous sound to signify Christ’s final breath on the cross. That lonely tolling bell also rings when one of our Community members passes, as we pause to remember our loved one, whatever the day, a toll for each year of their life.
Holy Saturday is quiet at our Bell Tower. However, on Easter Sunday, we pull out all the stops! Our Easter ringing plays a significant role in the triumphant joy of the Resurrection. With brass fanfares, full organ, choir and congregation singing and bells ringing, we worship, celebrating the risen Christ with joyful alleluias.
There is a rhythm to life, and our bells play a particular part in the rhythm of our Community life. Bells call us to worship, and they ring out for all to hear when the clergy make their final acclamation, “Let us go in peace to love and serve the Lord.” We chime in with “Thanks be to God,” as the bells add their jubilant Amen!