Bells of Prayer Still Ring Today
Even today this church’s bell tells the time and signals prayer sessions.
In front of the church is a bell tower that holds an octagonal dome, a splendid three-storied structure. Here, at 6am, noon and 6pm, the bell chimes thrice daily. This broadcasts the ringing message to the faithful that it is time for prayer. One hears of elderly people who halt in their steps when the bell chimes, quietly clasping their hands together. The bell is rung thrice, with intervals of about one breath; this sequence is repeated once, before the bell is then struck repeatedly. There are in fact a myriad of ways in which church bells are rung. The rhythm of striking varies according to occasion: at Christmas and weddings the “bells of joy” are rung, and the deceased are sent off with “funerary bells”. The church bells that echo in one’s ears everyday are the bells of prayer, a necessity of daily life here.