Monday, January 21, 2008

The Art of Bell Ringing

This is a great article from the Boston Globe describing a wonderful Orthodox tradition - JMC

Bell Ringers Gain Resounding Lesson
By Peter Schworm
Globe Staff / January 21, 2008

The sacred Russian bells at Harvard University's Lowell House rang forth yesterday as they have most Sundays since Easter 1931, their deep, resonant rumble a haunting hymn to their improbable survival of the Stalinist era.

But high in the belfry on this Sunday, the Harvard students struck the 17 bronze bells with a newly forged skill and deeper understanding of the ancient art of bell-ringing. They were fresh from an 11-day training session with renowned Russian bell-ringers at the Danilovsky Monastery in Moscow, the bells' historic home and the residence of the patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Newly certified by Russian masters and versed in the lore of church bells, the ringers sounded the bells by nimbly manipulating an intricate series of ropes, pulleys, and pedals. Benjamin Rapoport, a Harvard Medical School student and a resident tutor at Lowell House, gently tugged at crisscrossed ropes like a puppeteer to strike a series of smaller bells in time with the ringing reverberations of the massive mother bells. Despite a bracing wind that whipped through the bell tower, he pulled the ropes and heavy wire cables with his bare hands.

"Good Russian weather," he said.

Read it all here.