Praise Whistlers Abroad

Call to prayer
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Author:  Adrian [ Wed May 30, 2007 11:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Call to prayer

We spend most of our time working in a Muslim context and in Islam the minaret is used to call people to prayer. I still love the Christian call to prayer with bells! This is a bell tower of a church near us. does your church still use bells?


Author:  mutepointe [ Thu May 31, 2007 7:50 am ]
Post subject: 

yes, our church uses a bell to call to worship but we have no bell tower and the bell is in the parking lot by the side door. in 1987, when we first moved down here, we went to the cathedral for awhile but no one said boo to us. so we went to a much smaller church nearer our home. as soon as we walked in, an old friend from college said, "what are you going to do here?' so my wife and i said we'd join the choir that day at that Mass. we've stayed at that church.

it was beyond doubt the most ugliest church building that i have ever entered. the church is the gymnasium attached to the grade school. the baseketball hoops and the bleachers were all gone and there was church furniture. but, everything looked like it was gotten at a yard sale or built from scratch by stuff that folks had left over. the church spent all it's money on the school. that's the kind of church that we wanted to be a part of.

since those days, we've gotten air conditioning because we were losing members and we've gotten stained glass windows too. they are the life of st. francis in 8 panels. we only have windows on one side of the building. we've also gotten some musical equipment but mostly because of the kids at school.

i grew up in a church that had 3000 families (they didn't count actual people) and 3 priest. the church i go to now has 500 people (counting babies) and 1 priest. there is so much more going on at this little church that there have been times when meetings had to be held in the parking lot because of all the available rooms were already being used for other meetings.

getting back to the bell, i got to ring the bell for services once when i asked our designated bell ringer. she said i needed to ring the bell louder.

Author:  jrc [ Thu May 31, 2007 8:13 am ]
Post subject: 

Quasimodo Levy had finally decided to retire and the Abbott placed an advert in the Church gazette for a new bell ringer. One day a man with no arms came to the church to apply for the bell ringer's position. The Abbott, being an equal opportunity employer, said he would consider the armless man for the position if he could prove he could do the job. The armless man was led to the bell tower and when Quasimodo Levy asked him to do his stuff, the man got a running start and charged face-first into the bell. A beautiful melodious tone sang through the valley. So beautiful that all the townspeople came out of their houses crying, "who rang that bell - such a sound - hire him, hire him!"
Quasimodo Levy promptly asked him to ring the bell again. The man again took a running start but unfortunately slipped and plunged over the parapet to his death.
The townspeople were aghast and one called out, "who was that man?"
Quasimodo Levy replied, "I don't know but his face rings a bell."

Sorry ... couldn't pass that up :lol: .

Proverbs 17:22
A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.

Author:  jrc [ Thu May 31, 2007 8:19 am ]
Post subject: 

OK, since I started this ....

Unfortunately, this still left the church without a bell ringer. So the Abbott re-advertised the job. Another armless man showed up to apply for the position, claiming he was the dead man's brother and, having learned all he knew about bell ringing from his brother, declared that it was only right that he take over the bell ringer's position and succeed where his brother could not (due to his untimely death, naturally). The Abbott gave the brother the same chance to prove his ability. The brother charged at the bell smacking it with his face and eliciting a lovely mellow tone which was heard all throughout the valley. The townspeople came running into the square calling out "who rang that bell? Such tone, such vibrato - hire him, hire him!!”
Noting that it was nearing 3pm and time to ring the bell for real, Quasimodo Levy instructed the man to do the same. The man backed up to start his run and misjudged how close he was to the edge of the bell tower. He stepped backward and fell to his death.
The Abbott turned to Quasimodo Levy and asked, "who was that man?"
Replied Quasimodo Levy, "I don't know, but he's a dead ringer for his brother."

Blessings to all - jrc

Author:  Adrian [ Thu May 31, 2007 8:36 am ]
Post subject: 

I lived in Falmouth in Cornwall for a year way back when and in this fishing town there was an Anglican church that could actually play hymn tunes on their bells. I was not a Christian back then but the sound in the town was delightful.

Author:  mutepointe [ Thu May 31, 2007 8:54 am ]
Post subject: 

there are computer programs that play church bells these days. that makes me sad in one way but on the hand, if no one is able/willing to play the bells, at least they are getting some use. i wish a human was playing the bells though.

Author:  Adrian [ Thu May 31, 2007 12:34 pm ]
Post subject: 

I'm guessing that there are far fewer churches in the US with bells than in Europe. Is this true?

Author:  ConnieS [ Thu May 31, 2007 2:00 pm ]
Post subject: 

jrc, you kill me!!!! :laughing: :laughing: :laughing:

Author:  mutepointe [ Thu May 31, 2007 2:06 pm ]
Post subject: 

Adrian wrote:
I'm guessing that there are far fewer churches in the US with bells than in Europe. Is this true?

i don't have any facts and figures but i could believe that you're right. we just don't have the ancient churches here that would be in europe. i could also believe that the churches aren't the center of town like they are in europe. our big older churches would probably have lots of bells, the other churches would have one bell, and the new modern churches might have some type of electronic bell system. that's just my guess.

Author:  jrc [ Thu May 31, 2007 2:10 pm ]
Post subject: 

When I was in college, there were electronic bells that rang daily, especially at noon ... for a while.. regardless of what was going on, like class. As I recall they played hymns at regular intervals.

We have lots of steeples though ... but few bells.


Author:  Kristos [ Thu May 31, 2007 4:02 pm ]
Post subject: 

Adrian wrote:
I'm guessing that there are far fewer churches in the US with bells than in Europe. Is this true?

I don't know of any churches with bells. (But I live in Mississippi.)
But most have a steeple.

Author:  fancypiper [in Heaven] [ Thu May 31, 2007 8:29 pm ]
Post subject: 

The local Baptist church has speakers that play bell recordings, but they don't have bells in the tower, just speakers.

Author:  mutepointe [ Fri Jun 01, 2007 8:28 am ]
Post subject: 

i'm just guessing here again. in europe, the church bells would have been used for prayer and warnings and there was probably one major religion and church per town. in america, there are lots of churches and i think that the local fire department would be the source of warning for most areas.

in the county that i grew up in, there was a 9 o'clock whistle operated by the volunteer fire dept. you could easily here this whislte for 10 miles at least. there was also a public service announcement that came on tv then that said, "it's 9 o'clock, do you know where your children are?"

before i lived here, the town fire alarm was in my yard. when that sucker came on, we couldn't hear anything. if we were on the phone, we'd just tell the people we'd call back when it was over.

Author:  Judy K [ Fri Jun 01, 2007 8:58 am ]
Post subject: 



jrc, I love 'em!



Our church has a bell in the steeple, and it is still rung before services. But if you wait until the bell is rung to go .... you're gonna be late! It's rung about 5 minutes before church takes up. Most of the older churches in this county have or did have bells. Just one to toll the call to service, or used as a warning for the community ... but very rarely. A few have switched to the electronic chimes now. This is a very rural area. Change is slow ... it's a good thing, usually.

Author:  Adrian [ Fri Jun 01, 2007 1:08 pm ]
Post subject: 

In Europe churches very often have bells. They are used for services and special occasions. Some churches still toll bells to mark sad events like funerals. Many parish churches also have clocks that chime and and the sound can travel very well in a rural area.

Nothing beats real bells on a Sunday morning!

It is only on this thread that I have ever heard of electronic bells.

Our village school had a bell as well.

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