Concept

Church bell

Résumé
A church bell in Christian architecture is a bell which is rung in a church for a variety of religious purposes, and can be heard outside the building. Traditionally they are used to call worshippers to the church for a communal service, and to announce the fixed times of daily Christian prayer, called the canonical hours, which number seven and are contained in breviaries. They are also rung on special occasions such as a wedding, or a funeral service. In some religious traditions they are used within the liturgy of the church service to signify to people that a particular part of the service has been reached. The ringing of church bells, in the Christian tradition, is also believed to drive out demons. The traditional European church bell (see cutaway drawing) used in Christian churches worldwide consists of a cup-shaped metal resonator with a pivoted clapper hanging inside which strikes the sides when the bell is swung. It is hung within a steeple or belltower of a church or religious building, so the sound can reach a wide area. Such bells are either fixed in position ("hung dead") or hung from a pivoted beam (the "headstock") so they can swing to and fro. A rope hangs from a lever or wheel attached to the headstock, and when the bell ringer pulls on the rope the bell swings back and forth and the clapper hits the inside, sounding the bell. Bells that are hung dead are normally sounded by hitting the sound bow with a hammer or occasionally by a rope which pulls the internal clapper against the bell. A church may have a single bell, or a collection of bells which are tuned to a common scale. They may be stationary and chimed, rung randomly by swinging through a small arc, or swung through a full circle to enable the high degree of control of English change ringing. Before modern communications, church bells were a common way to call the community together for all purposes, both sacred and secular.
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