Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Exit Strategy [Update]

Now that we’ve had a few days to examine the dress, the flowers, the fascinators, etc. of the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, let’s take a listen to their exit out of St. George’s Chapel in Windsor. I hear the guard announcing the couple, people cheering, a woman(?) screaming (really not sureContinue reading “Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Exit Strategy [Update]”

Two Chicago Bell Festivals in May

Friends, we have two bell festivals, one on change ringing and one on the carillon, coming up here in the month of May. First, the 6th Annual Illinois Tower Bell Bash will take place May 19-20. Ringers will gather to ring changes (what else?) at the Mitchell Tower at the University of Chicago on SaturdayContinue reading “Two Chicago Bell Festivals in May”

The Oldest Bell in Chicago

On Sunday, December 10th, the Episcopal Church of Our Saviour in Chicago celebrated the 40th anniversary of the installation of their single bell. This is no ordinary bell, however. This bell was bought from St. Mary’s Parish Church in Everton, Bedfordshire, England. Misfortune for St. Mary’s meant a welcome opportunity for the Church of OurContinue reading “The Oldest Bell in Chicago”

All Saints St. Anthony Catholic Church, Chicago

Dear readers, All Saints St. Anthony Catholic Church in Chicago has not one bell tower, but two! The one on the left is leased by T-Mobile for their use. The one on the right has the good stuff…three bells cast by McShane of Baltimore in 1914. They were installed shortly after the church was erected.Continue reading “All Saints St. Anthony Catholic Church, Chicago”

First Lutheran Church of the Trinity, Chicago

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 theyContinue reading “First Lutheran Church of the Trinity, Chicago”

St. Jerome Croatian Catholic Church, Chicago

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 forContinue reading “St. Jerome Croatian Catholic Church, Chicago”

St. James Lutheran Church, 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 IContinue reading “St. James Lutheran Church, Chicago, IL”

Madonna della Strada Chapel, Loyola University, Chicago

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 jeebiesContinue 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”

First Unitarian Church, Chicago, IL

At the First Unitarian Church in Hyde Park, Chicago, I climbed this ladder to reach their bell. And then I climbed this ladder. Actually, no, I didn’t. I chickened out. A fear of heights is not a good trait paired with the love of bells. Sometimes I overcome it, and sometimes I don’t. I wasContinue reading “First Unitarian Church, Chicago, IL”