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”

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”

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”

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 timesContinue reading “St. Clement Catholic Church, Chicago, IL”