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First Lutheran Church of the Trinity, Chicago

First Lutheran Church of the Trinity

I found another church here in Chicago that rings the bells during the Lord's Prayer--First Lutheran Church of the Trinity. Perhaps this is a specifically Lutheran tradition? This Lutheran church was the third in the city and the first one south of the Chicago River. The church formed in 1865, although the current building they … Continue reading First Lutheran Church of the Trinity, Chicago

St. Jerome Croatian Catholic Church, Chicago

St. Jerome Croatian Catholic Church bell, Chicago, IL

St. Jerome Croatian Catholic Church in Chicago purchased the Salem Lutheran Church attended by Swedish immigrants in 1922. Nowadays, the church looks like this. Still beautiful. Fr. Ivica Majstorović showed me around one cool, blustery day. Not only did I see bells, but I saw the closets full of the colorful ethnic costumes used for … Continue reading St. Jerome Croatian Catholic Church, Chicago

St. James Lutheran Church, Chicago, IL

St. James Evangelical Lutheran Church bell, Chicago, IL

A local celebrity graciously showed me the St. James Lutheran Church bells--Warren Gast, the recently-retired principal of St. James Lutheran School. In crossing the street from the office to the church, at least two people gleefully shouted their greetings and chatted with us. And the street was given an honorary name after him! So I … Continue reading St. James Lutheran Church, Chicago, IL

Madonna della Strada Chapel, Loyola University, Chicago

Loyola University, Madonna Della Strada Chapel, Chicago, IL

Steve Betancourt and John Paul from the Madonna della Strada chapel at Loyola University kindly showed me their magnificent four swinging bells. First off, check out that view of Lake Michigan! This tower had a lot of ladders. We screwed up our courage and climbed up there. The ladders didn’t give Steve the heebie jeebies … Continue reading Madonna della Strada Chapel, Loyola University, Chicago

Bell Founding of Beit Chabab, Lebanon

This recent find about the last bell founder in Lebanon piqued my interest in bells in the middle east. I was intrigued by the explanation that the casting of big bells didn’t arrive in Lebanon until the Crusaders came through in the twelfth century.* Hadn’t they been making bells already for a long time? Yes, … Continue reading Bell Founding of Beit Chabab, Lebanon

St. Clement Catholic Church, Chicago, IL

St. Clement Catholic Church, Chicago, IL

St. Clement Catholic Church in Chicago is a superstar in my book. Why? They have an entire webpage devoted to their bells. Gabriel Mayhugh, director of liturgy, gave me the behind-the-scenes tour so I could see the bells up close and hear them in action. First, the computer that rings the bells automatically multiple times … Continue reading St. Clement Catholic Church, Chicago, IL

Kindred Spirits

Up in Quebec, kindred spirits--Daniel Désormiers, Steffen Jowett, François Mathieu, and Michael Rowan--are also advocating for tower bells. A few quotes struck me. Rev. G. Malcolm Sinclair of the Metropolitan United in downtown Toronto says, "Instead of people saying, ‘We are part of this community, and the church speaks for us,’” soon, he says, the sentiment will … Continue reading Kindred Spirits

St. James Episcopal Cathedral, Chicago, IL

St. James Episcopal Cathedral tower, Chicago, IL

St. James Episcopal Cathedral in the Near North Side Chicago neighborhood is known for its exquisite choir and organ music. Not surprisingly, they complete their sacral soundscape with bells. The talented and gracious Stephen Buzzard, the organist and choirmaster, showed me around one afternoon. The chimestand for the ten-bell chime was replaced many years ago … Continue reading St. James Episcopal Cathedral, Chicago, IL