Lutheran Witness

Church Bells Are Calling

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Comments (5)
  1. David Reinhardt says:

    We have traditionally rung the outside tower bell after the organ prelude and before the first hymn. The pastor has taken to starting his announcements while the church bell is ringing so usually the bell rings only two or three times since it seems to be in conflict with the pastor. This bothers me but no one else seems to notice. Does the LCMS have any kind of policy regarding the etiquette of ringing the church bells. Thanks David

    1. LCMS Church Information Center says:

      Thank you for your question. Our LCMS Worship staff shared that there are no set guidelines for bell ringing; however, there are some pretty solid traditions about bell ringing. For example, they announce the beginning of the service and in certain places they are rung as a five-minute warning ahead of the final peal for the service. They are sometimes rung during the Lord’s Prayer or they may be rung at the laying on of hands as a child is confirmed in the faith. They are not rung after the Maundy Thursday until the singing of the Gloria in Excelsis at the Easter Vigil, but they sound throughout the Gloria in Excelsis at the Vigil. And of course, the bell tolls as the faithful are taken from the church to their final resting place. Some places announce the deaths in the parish with the tolling of the bell: six times for a woman; nine for a man; and then the age is tolled.

      I pray this information on the traditions of bell ringing is helpful.

      LCMS Church Information Center

  2. Carolyn J. and James E. Davis says:

    We are so proud to be a lifelong member of the Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church LCMS Homedale Id. Thank you for the beautiful story about the Church Bells.

    God’s Blessing Carolyn J. Davis

  3. Marty says:

    Nice article Greg . I have fond memories of the church of my childhood, Trinity, Peoria Illinois. the church bells always rang at the beginning of the service. On occasion I would be in the balcony to watch an usher ( maybe my dad or one of my brothers) pulling on the thick rope that rang the bell. Looked like quite a workout!

  4. LAJ says:

    We also rang the bell on Christmas Eve and on New Years Eve at midnight.