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Church Bells

All across Europe, the church bells ring and indicate the time of day. It seems even more so here in Dresden. It is hard to describe the warm feeling that comes when the bell chimes come wafting through the air, and that is what they do. The sound is never harsh nor even loud. At six in the evening and before service on Sunday, they seem to ring longer and more bells are in on the action, so the ringing is more intricate. Through the night, a minor bell rings the hour in single gongs. It is reassuring; although, I have rarely been awake to hear them.

In Spain, the church bells sounded like clanking or dampened in sound, with very little resonance. In France, they are resonate and pealing. In Italy, they were symphonic. In Germany, they are deep and straightforward. In Telgte, Germany, Tomball’s sister city, they rang on and on at 6 A.M. as if to say, “Every industrious citizen should be up and at ’em.” And sure enough, when they finished, the streets were filled and workers were working! In Wittenberg, Germany, the bells started a good ten minutes before service, and you knew how much time you had to be there on time. When they rang the hour after the prelude bells, you knew that when the last gong sounded the service would begin. It is the six in the evening bells, however, that ring the longest. The day is done. Restaurants fill. The evening commences. Evening vespers in the churches commence. I also remember how in the old days of church in America, six o’clock in the evening was a time to stop for prayer, wherever you were. And Saturday, at six, was a time to reflect on your week and your worship of God the next morning.

Church bells carry such meaning deep in their ancient chimes. WEG

Church Bells in Europe

Church Bells in Europe

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