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The ringing of church bells

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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