Towering O’er the Wrecks of Time

Though the title line is referring to “the Cross of Christ [in which] I glory” the reference to time – wrecks or no – is both poetic and evocative enough to be reflective of the cycles of seasons and rounds of the year within our bell tower.  To begin with, this most recent time of year gratefully calls up chronological time, being that the bell tower construction and bell installations were completed in July / August 2009.  Ringing lessons began right away, giving just enough time for a band of home ringers to pull ropes safely at the first public ringing on the feast of St. Michael and all Angels, Sept. 29th.  These dates and events are recalled each year, and particularly this year as we approach the 10th anniversary.

 

 

 

What’s more, celebrating the passage of seasons is built into tower life, whether in doing special ringing (here a quarter-peal band to mark St. Michael’s)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Or in sharing in summer bounty at the homes of friends who come ring with us when here on the Cape.

 

 

 

 

 

The other inescapable facet of time in change-ringing comes is that as soon as one can ring safely and advances to ringing in a circle of other ringers, from that point on one is essentially counting and clocking for each pull.  It is only one of the many mental/physical elements in ringing, all of which have to be learned and developed, but for good ringing, it is constant and inexorable.

The last “towering” thought does examine the “wrecks of time.”  By no means unique to bell-ringing, but the physical, mental, and above all emotional demands and requirements over the long haul is always going to assure a long and distinguished list of former bell ringers.  It’s true in every tower.  Yet to those who by some alchemy (grace?) of time and circumstance manage to persevere, the “bane and blessing, pain and pleasure” do bring a richness both for themselves and for the many listeners.

 

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About Faithful Friar

I am a 20+ year member of the Community of Jesus Brotherhood, so I live in the Friary with the other vowed brothers along with any novices or combination of guest/ resident men – young or old – who may be with us at any given time. Our vows are the same as any simple or solemnly professed Community member, with the addition of consecrated celibacy and poverty. I moved here shortly out of high school to study music for a summer. At the end of that summer I chose to stay here as a CJ member. Shortly thereafter I knew another change was needed, and asked to be accepted into the brotherhood first as a postulant, later as a novice. My life in the Brotherhood involves a variety of occupations, but they are centered on the continual service of prayer and praise in our church and on the outreach ministries springing from that service. This means manual labor as well as ongoing study and training: theological, musical, technical/ scientific, artistic, historical, philosophical, etc. Sometimes this involves teaching others, so that is part of our life too. It’s a life of poverty and yet full of hidden riches.

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