The Long Resonance of Bronze

Christians once ascribed powerful properties to bells—the power to drive away demons, for example,  and still today some Christians believe they embody the voice of God. Before Christians, the members of ancient civilizations ascribed magico-sacral properties to bells too. Why were bells thought to hold so much sacred power? I never thought about this tooContinue reading “The Long Resonance of Bronze”

Ringing for Climate Change Action

Today’s Youth Climate Change Strike has captured the attention of the world, as well it should! My support goes out to them for real transformation at the national and global level to mitigate the environmental catastrophe awaiting us. And I’m pleased that faith communities from Cape Cod in Massachusetts will ring out their support ofContinue reading “Ringing for Climate Change Action”

Homage to MLK Jr.

The National Civil Rights Museum is calling on churches and institutions in the United States and beyond to ring their bells to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. On April 4, 2018, bells will ring to commemorate 50 years after Dr. King’s death and his legacy in the Civil Rights Movement. BellsContinue reading “Homage to MLK Jr.”

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”

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”

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”