There are two kinds of ringing of the church
bells: convocation ringing and ringing proper.
Convocation ringing is the striking of one
big bell repeated at equal intervals. It is performed in the following way:
first there are three slow lengthy sounds produced with longer intervals and
then the strokes are made at equal intervals. The Convocation ringing is in its
turn subdivided into two kinds: the common one (frequent) for which the biggest
bell is used, and the Lenten one (rare) for which a smaller bell is used on the
week days of the Great Lent.
The ringing proper is produced by ringing all the
bells at the same time. It is subdivided into three types:
The peal of bells — the ringing of all
bells repeated three times with short intervals (triple ringing). It takes
place during all-night vigils and Liturgies.
The double ringing — the ringing of all
bells repeated two times with short intervals (double ringing). It takes place
during all-night vigils.
The chimes — alternating ringing of each
bell (one or several strokes) beginning with the biggest bells and finishing
with the smallest ones and repeated several times. It is performed on special
occasions: on the week of the Veneration of the Cross, during the vespers of
the Holy Friday before the procession of the shroud of Christ, during the
matins of the Holy Saturday and on the day of the Elevation of the Cross. The
chimes are also performed during the mystery of laying-on-of-the-hands.
Ringing in turns — a slow ringing of each
bell in turns beginning from the biggest bell and finishing with the smallest
ones; after ringing the biggest bell all the bells are struck simultaneously
and the whole procedure is repeated many times. Ringing in turns is also
sometimes referred to as a funereal (burial) ringing,
it expresses mourning over the departed. But at the end of the ringing-in-turns
we would always hear the peal of bells, which symbolizes the Christian good
tidings about the resurrection of the dead.
There is also an alarm ringing (tocsin) — very
frequent ringing during the times of calamity.
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