|Original clappers from two of the smaller bells.
elongation of the holes on the left due to 100 years of wear.
Well, most of them anyway.
You may recall this post of mine from a while back (click here) regarding the silencing of our church's six bells for needed repairs and maintenance -- and how odd it has been around here to not hear them!
Yesterday -- appropriately enough, the Solemnity of the Passing of Our Holy Father Benedict -- four of them were back in service, ringing across the surrounding hills to call us to prayer, and to mark each quarter hour. It was so good to hear them again early yesterday morning that several pleasantly surprised monks stopped in their tracks to listen to them, smiling broadly.
Today, in an electronic newsletter for Archabbey co-workers, Director of Physical Facilities Andy Hagedorn supplied some details, as well as the above photo. He writes:
The Verdin Bell Company, Cincinnati, Ohio, completed the rebuilding of four bells in the south bell tower on Monday. They rebuilt Bell #5 in the north bell tower yesterday [Tuesday]. The bells had been out of service since an inspection on November 22 deemed them in need of significant repair and maintenance.
I am told that large church bells typically require major repair work and replacement parts about every 100 years. That is about how long they’ve been in service.
All the bells are getting new clappers (the swinging internal piece that strikes the bell). They also are all getting new clapper springs. These springs soften the blow and limit contact from the clapper, protecting the bell from damage and enhancing the sound.
We should be good to go now until approximately 2120. Bell #6, which had developed a crack, is still in repair and transport. We hope to have it back in service in the north tower sometime this summer.