Ringing Bells in Thanksgiving


G flat.

G flat, A sharp, a bell I would play if there any of those notes, which there were not tonight. By the way, I am reflected in the bell as I snap this picture, but so distorted you may not be able to see me.

Bell ringing went fairly well Monday night, I thought. We started more or less together, ended at the same time and mostly played together in between.

The Mount Mercy Handbell Ensemble, which has yet to find a catchy name (The MMU Clapper Troupe? The Ring Tones? Eighth Notes Are Imaginary? Hill’s Bells? The Chapel Clangers? The Ding Dongs? MMU Can Ring Our Bells? It’s A Ding Thing? Mustang Music Mayhem? Ask Not For Whom? Droll Tolls? QuasiMustangs? Swell Bellers? MMU Ring for You? U Rang?) played at the Linn County Interfaith Council Thanksgiving service.

I had not been to the new Unitarian  Universalist church in town, and despite severely underestimating how long it would take to get so deeply into the winding streets of Northwest Cedar Rapids, it was worth the trip.

Working ends

The "business" ends of a bell and a hand chime. Not sure what notes these are--they belong to Katie, the student who rings beside me in the bass table.

I had a swell bell time. I rang some, ate some cookies and heard some interesting new prayers from many faith traditions. A young Muslim woman was probably embarrassed because she dropped the candle that was being used to light a symbolic ring of candles representing each faith tradition that was participating, but it gave a Rabbi a nice chance, which he took, to do a nice “save.” He noted that the dropping of the candle was symbolic because it then had to be relighted from another burning candle—the way that those of us of different faiths in Cedar Rapids must sometimes depend on each other.

I also thought the Rabbi had one of the better quotes of the evening, although from whom it came I don’t know. But to paraphrase the quote, it was something like: “God, to worship you properly I need to remember two things. That you exist. And that I am not you.”

Well, all’s well that rings well, and tonight the ringing was fine. The host choir sang well, the prayers were interesting and the cookies afterward in the church basement provided a nice cap to the evening.

Only one thing left undone. The name for the MMU Handbell Ensemble. The Fire Hazards? The Gloved Grippers? Carolyn and the Bongers? The MMU Hill Scalers? Hmmmmmm.

Grand piano.

No more buttered scones for me, I've got to play the grand piano. Detail of beautiful old grand that was in the Unitarian church.

Banner in Bell

I like how the colorful banner that was at the front of the Universalist church is reflected in the A bell I play.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Ringing Bells in Thanksgiving

    • crgardenjoe

      It’s a good one, but I am also partial to the literary ones, like QuasiMustang and Ask Not for Whom. Have to see what the ringers think!

  1. Cate Sheller

    The Quasimodos?

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