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May 6, 2021

Bell-Ringing and Resurrection Joy in Russia

In Russia there is a unique custom that takes place the week after Easter (known as Bright Week or Renewal Week), which explains why some call it Ringing Week. It is the only time of year when every believer is allowed to ring the church bells. All you have to do is ask for the blessing of the priest of the church and you can access the bell tower. As a rule, priests do not deny anyone.

All week, after the services, you can hear the inconsistent ringing of bells. They are the parishioners who organize this peculiar "concert", of happy and melodic sounds. It is mainly children who ring the bells, carrying the joyful message of the Resurrection of the Lord with the sounds of joyful children.

"My kids wait all year to ring the bells," says Sergei. "Usually, we go to church with our friends who have young children, all together. It is best to go immediately after the night liturgy, at about seven. You just have to approach one of the priests of the church and ask politely, 'Your blessing Father, allow the bells to ring for the glory of Christ.' I do not know of any case in which the priests have refused. When you ring the bell, you are flooded with feelings of joy and delight. Emotions that you will never forget. At first you do not do it well, but soon you adapt, get into the rhythm and play something that is more or less a distinct melody. For children it is just an ecstatic feeling. The main thing is to be next to the children, to help. The bell tower is quite high."