teaching on traditional Russian Orthodox bell ringing

March 11 - Archpriest Stephan Meholick will speak on “For What the Bells Toll … and When”. Presentation at 4:00 PM. Vespers at 5:00 PM. Potluck dinner immediately following Vespers.Holy Assumption Monastery, Calistoga This is the March Monthly Friends’ of the Monastery Meeting.

This is a special opportunity to hear Fr. Stephan talk on the role of bells in the Russian Church. Father has traveled extensively learning about and teaching about both traditional Russian Orthodox bell ringing and the role of bells in our tradition (see more background about Fr Stephan here). He is a gifted teacher.

And what a beautiful sound it is. :slight_smile:

Father giving a first lesson to the next generation of ringers :smiley:
Their bells

youtube.com/watch?v=c3w99qWvs9U

Father giving a first lesson to the next generation of ringers.Thang you very much! http://www.filii.info/g.gif

Father Stephan graciously sent me the final paragraph from his presentation… a little tidbit for you to enjoy:

The bell, the instrument, is suspended between the sky and the earth.
It lives in and between two elements (two worlds) and by its sound, joins them.
As the Russians say:
• “the great bells are thunder;
• the medium bells are the sound of the forest,
• the smallest of bells — birds singing fortissimo.
The elements are speaking!”

This inevitably evokes a particular sensitivity in the bell-ringer just before the peal, and is one of the components of his artistic inspiration. “I always look up, over the earth and into the sky,” said one bell-ringer.

As they approach the bells, the ringers become a part of the elements and begin to live by their laws. They break away from earth not only in their hearts and souls, but also in body, to find themselves in a realm outside time – that of wind, sun, sky and birds.

“The zvon or peal comes from on high,” wrote one Muscovite in his diary, “you cannot see from where… it floats above the city like a cloud of sound – white, weightless, free.
It is always in the heights and from the heights.
It is as “unreachable” as a cloud.
It is above and beyond man.
It is a free cloud floating in an azure sky, in the sun, high and free and beautiful.
What falls from it are sounds, like raindrops,
yet another sign of God’s loving condescension towards us as the Incarnate Word.”

BTW, Father said that before the revolution the bells rang without ceasing from Pascha throughout the entirety of Bright Week!

And what a beautiful sound it is.http://www.filii.info/g.gif

This is a special opportunity to hear Fr. Stephan talk on the role of bells in the Russian Church. Father has traveled extensively learning about and teaching about both traditional Russian Orthodox bell ringing and the role of bells in our tradition (see more background about Fr Stephan here). He is a gifted teacher.http://www.dubaa.info/dell.gif

youtube.com/watch?v=vJ84WVRfrjI

This is one from Russia. I love how they have one person ringing all the bells. I’ve seen some videos where the ringer was operating bells with foot pedals plus both of his hands. It must take a lot of training to teach them how to do it.

Here is another video from Russia Today with a story on bell ringing and how it is done. They have some other stories also:

youtube.com/watch?v=cJJBtM0B2mU

I’ve seen some videos where the ringer was operating bells with foot pedals plus both of his hands. It must take a lot of training to teach them how to do it. http://www.dubaa.info/dvd.gif

A major difference which allows for one person ringing so many bells at once is that Russian bells are stationary and the clapper is moved, where Western bells the bell itself is moved and in moving strikes the clapper. Father talked about watching the ringing of an immense bell, and how many men and how long it took to move just the clapper, trying to imagine what would be needed if it were the bell itself having to move far enough to hit the clapper.

That clip I posted in #5 of Fr Stephan and Metushka Peg ringing she is ringing with both hands and a foot pedal. BTW the foot petal rings “Gabriel” their biggest bell blagovest. Click on that picture to go to the Blagovest Bells site with lots of links to more information about Russian bells.

Thanks for that clip! It’s good they showed the ruthless destruction of the bells in the Soviet era. I think Father said 80% of the bells were destroyed by the State. You can see why when you understand the great power these bells had in the life of the people. They were a real threat to the State. Now, praise God, their voices are ringing again all over Russia.

And I love this painting by Alaskan artist Rie Munoz of Priest Michael Oleksa using an old plane propeller as the bell to call his flock to worship.

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