Sunday, December 2, 2012

Ringing in the Advent Season

Happy Monday of the First Week of Advent.

Yesterday morning, for ten minutes before the Mass for the First Sunday of Advent, I played the bells in our shuttered church's bell tower.

The bells are played using a small console in the front of the church.

And here is yours truly playing O Come, O Come, Emmanuel. There are a few notes that just would not ring. The video is obviously from inside the church; outside the bells are much louder and stronger.

Here are a few shots of the interior, which I snapped yesterday. Notice that the historic Roosevelt pipe organ is shrouded in plastic.

The architectural details are stunning.

It will be very sad to see this historic building demolished in the next few months. But the parish has proven itself to be much more than a building. Still, there is sadness here.

As the bells rang throughout the neighborhoods on Chicago's near South Side, I hope that people understood that they were being rung as a sign of hope for the future in this Advent Season filled with promise.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.


Scott Pluff said...

Thanks for sharing this. I'm sure your community is struggling with the impending loss of such an important part of your identity. Was there any thought of trying to save the bell tower, apart from the church? I'm sure it would be costly to re-engineer it to be an independent structure.

I've never seen a carillon system quite like that, how many bells are there?

Jerry Galipeau, D. Min. said...

Hello Scott. At this point it looks like we will be arranging for the removal of the bells (21, I believe) from the tower and the storage of them somewhere. There is talk of a "Catholic momument" at the entrance to the new church grounds a few blocks away. Things are in flux presently. Please continue to pray for our community as we begin to let go.

Anonymous said...

It is sad think that this beautiful place, hallowed by the prayers of many people over many years, must be lost. But I hope there are opportunities--like playing the bells--for people to experience some intentional "last times," and give thanks for what the building has meant in their lives, and the lives of many before.