• Alison Hodge
    106
    Normally, there is no ringing in Holy Week so ringers often take the opportunity to use the practice night time to spring clean the tower, rather than ring. Great idea!

    But what if there is a funeral service in Holy week for one of the local ringers and there is a request for ringing? Should ringers ring? Perhaps half muffled? Who other than the Incumbent should decide and on what basis?
  • Simon Linford
    220
    A few of us were discussing this last week and wondering whether the restriction of ringing in Holy Week and become a bit more relaxed than it has been in the past. There seem to be more examples of practices still being allowed to happen earlier in the week, Mondays and Tuesdays at least. Ringing on Holy Saturday also seems to be a bit more permissive.

    Interested in your comment Alison that anyone other than the incumbent would decide. For a funeral of a ringer, I doubt whether there would be any objection to half muffled ringing.
  • Phillip George
    41
    We have never rung during Holy Week out of respect for the tradition of not doing so. Our practice night is Thursday. Instead, we hold our tower AGM, which this year will be at our house when we provide refreshments and have a jolly pleasant evening. If we were asked to ring for a funeral by the incumbent during Holy Week I expect we would do so. Our incumbent consults us on all ringing matters but the ultimate decision is hers. Spring cleaning the whole tower takes place in the summer when the quality of light is better and the weather warmer.
  • Gerald Wilson
    6
    This must be a ringers tradition. The liturgical tradition is that every bell in church is rung on Maundy Thursday during the Gloria and is then silent until the Gloria at the Easter Vigil.
  • Simon Meyer
    5
    I am coming to the conclusion that this is largely something invented/imposed by ringers as I understand there is no liturgical basis. The only liturgical guidelines are as previously stated - nothing after the Gloria on Maundy Thursday until Easter Day.
  • A J Barnfield
    213
    As with much in ringing practice, not ringing in Holy Week does not hold up well to scrutiny. Any case for not ringing before Maundy Thursday is somewhere between thin and non-existent. As noted above by high church tradition you would not ring on Good Friday or Good Saturday but would ring earlier in the week. Evangelicals would probably look to the Bible but I not think there is any direct help there; nothing to say you can't ring in Holy Week that I am aware of.

    At the church where I learnt to ring we rang half-muffled for the Good Friday service and rang open for weddings on Saturday. Ringing open for weddings on Good Saturday is normal and common. If there was a day when the bells should hang silent it is Good Saturday.

    Ringing for weddings on Good Saturday but not ringing during the rest of Holy Week is nonsense.

    But persisting in doing daft things in ringing is so common place to be utterly normal.
  • Peter Sotheran
    54
    The answer to Alison's question should be 'No!' Why should a ringer, no matter how loyal or valuable to the local tower, be accorded the 'privilege' of breaking the silence of Holy Week. That said, times and customs continue to change. Rather like the gradual disappearance of eating fish on Friday, perhaps it's time for a more relaxed view of the restriction on ringing in Holy Week.

    With the approval of our incumbents over the years we have maintained our Monday night practices at the beginning of Holy Week. Fifty years ago, there was an initial hesitation but now successive incumbents have taken it for granted.
  • DRJA Dewar
    11
    A personal view, naturally, and I can't remember what 'we' used to do in various places, but I don't see any problem with ringing during that week.

    Recently, in a non-consecrated university chapel, I've tended for services to programme music from the renaissance period, as a kind of 'nod' towards high art, but that is a personal choice as DofM, rather than any tradition imposed on us. We do not have clergy.
  • John Harrison
    184
    This topic comes up most years. Rinbers who don't ring in Holy Wek seem to assume it's universal when it isn't. For example BellBoard in 2019 has around 100 performances on Maundy Thursday and around 30 on Good Friday.
    It would be interesting to know the origin of the idea of not ringing. Maybe the historians can help, a
  • Tim Farnham
    6
    In recent years we have tended to offer a 'silent' practice during Holy Week using the simulator, which evades the problem as far as I am concerned. This year there's a compline service that evening so we won't practice.
  • Sue Marsden
    27
    Never understood why there is often no ringing in Holy Week, when we should be advertising the Church's presence as much as possible! We always held our Monday practice as normal, and rang for the Maunday Thursday service as well. We had one vicar who wanted us to ring open before the Good Friday service, as he was annoyed that all the shops were open as normal. We quite often rang fully muffled. Although the bells were not as loud, they were perfectly audible, they just sounded slightly different -softer. I can see no problem ringing for a funeral that week. It is unlikey to be on the Friday or Thursday even.
  • Neal Dodge
    5

    There was controversy in some parishes in 1863 about ringing for the marriage of the then Prince of Wales, later Edward VII as the marriage occurred in Lent.
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