Christ the Savior Orthodox Church, Chicago, IL

Behold, my loyal readers! I video recorded Russian Orthodox bell ringing at a local Chicago church! Choir Director Philip Sokolov of Christ the Savior Orthodox Church kindly welcomed me to watch and record his bell ringing before a recent Sunday service. There are five bells in this set, all provided by Blagovest Bells within the […]

Holy Trinity Orthodox Cathedral, Chicago, IL

I first encountered this cathedral a couple of years ago, when my husband and I were meeting up with a friend for dinner. We parked near this cathedral, walking by it as we made our way to the restaurant. On that particular evening–must’ve been a Saturday–a service was taking place and the doors were wide […]

Laurance Hearne Armour Memorial Carillon, Part II

Exciting news over here! I’ve got more info on the bells of Grace Episcopal Church of Chicago! You may recall in my first post on these bells that these formed a chime for the church in the early twentieth century and later formed the basis of the carillon at the Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, then later […]

That Rings a Bell…

I had to use that expression in the title at some point, right? If you walk around downtown Chicago, you may hear hymns played by bells. The music director updated the hymn selection for the autumn season, especially for Thanksgiving, and below is the line-up. 8:46am                 Be Thou My Vision 9:46                      This Is The Day […]

Bells for the Pope

The media is all abuzz about the Pope’s visit to Washington D.C., New York, and Philadelphia. No one has covered the bells in the churches he’s visited, though, so I’ll share what I know! On September 23rd, Pope Francis gave a Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, […]

St. Michael in Old Town, Chicago, Illinois

St. Michael Catholic Church in Old Town (neighborhood north of downtown Chicago) was established in the 1850s to serve German immigrants. In 1869 the parish had finished a magnificent new church–one of the tallest buildings in the city. The Chicago Fire of 1871 demolished the new house of worship, including its bells (number and maker […]

St. Hyacinth Basilica, Chicago, Illinois

St. Hyacinth Basilica is the stunning heart of Chicago’s Polish community. The Catholic parish was founded in 1894 to serve local Poles, and the current basilica was completed in 1921. The basilica has hosted many high-profile visitors due to its importance to the large Polish community. Future Pope John Paul II visited multiple times when […]

The Nine Tailors’ Nine-Hour Bell Performance Part II

In the last installment, we made sense of a relatively simple change ringing method, the Plain Bob Major, as a basis to understanding the Kent Treble Bob Major, which is performed for nine hours in The Nine Tailors. So here’s the grid for the Kent Treble Bob Major. It’s more complicated than the Plain Bob […]

The Nine Tailors’ Nine-Hour Bell Performance

I recently finished Dorothy Sayers’ The Nine Tailors, a mystery novel in which bells feature prominently. The setting is a provincial English town with a formidable church and an equally formidable set of bells. These bells are rung in the change ringing tradition, so that each bell (in this case, eight bells) is rung by […]