Those evening bells! Those evening bells!
How many a tale their music tells
Of love, and home and that sweet time,
When last I heard their soothing chime.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the bell ringing was spreading widely over the Moscow river. In his novels, Ivan Shmelev describes this sound during the great Orthodox holidays. He especially loved the sound of bells at Christmas and Easter; in those days, the bells announced the church services, holidays, and other important events of the city or town.
In old Russia, metal strips were first used in churches, and then the bells were brought to the country (first mentioned in 1066) and the belfry was separated from the cathedral by the erection of bell towers. But what interests me most is the method of ringing: clappers of western bells are fixed, thus the bell should be given a swing, but in Russia the bell ringer swings the clapper using a long rope, making it strike against the bell walls. The experienced bell ringer nearly dances on the belfry--he uses his hands and feet, and sometimes also needs a helper to swing the biggest bell, because the main thing is to set the general rhythm.
The largest bell is called the Large Annunciation bell, and then comes the holiday bell, the Sunday bell, and the every-day bell. The Novodevichy Convent, the Danilovsky Monastery, and the Cathedral of Christ the Savior all have belfries, and at the important Orthodox holidays, the sound of the bell ringing resounds throughout the city. When I hear this ringing, it seems to me that the Holy Spirit descends to the earth, and it makes me feel happy and joyful. Now there are small and big churches in every street in the center of Moscow, so have a look at their decorations and bells if you have time.
"And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee."