mabfan (Michael A. Burstein) (mabfan) wrote,
mabfan (Michael A. Burstein)
mabfan

End of an Era: Lowell House Russian Bells

Yesterday, Nomi did me the favor of heading over to Lowell House for the Bell Ceremony.


Bells! Bells!
Photo © 2008 by Nomi S. Burstein. All rights reserved.



As I've mentioned before, when I was in college I was one of the bellringers who rang the Lowell House bells every Sunday. The bells, which originally came from the Danilov Monastery in Moscow, are being returned, and yesterday they removed the final bell from the Lowell House bell tower.

That bell is called the Lenten Bell, and it was traditionally rung on a fasting day. Somehow, in the stories that generations told about the bells, the name became misconstrued as the Bell of Famine, Pestilence, and Despair. As the monks of the monastery explained to the current bellringers, that name really makes no sense, as no one would ring a bell that bore a name of such ill omen. (If I recall correctly, that was the bell on which we rang the loser's score whenever Harvard beat another team at football in a home game.)

Nomi took some most excellent photos of the crane removing the final bell and lowering it onto the flatbed truck next to the largest bell, which at Harvard was known as the Bell of Mother Earth. The pictures are behind the cut for those who wish to enjoy them.




Lenten Bell Photo #1 Lenten Bell Photo #1
Photo © 2008 by Nomi S. Burstein. All rights reserved.






Lenten Bell Photo #2 Lenten Bell Photo #2
Photo © 2008 by Nomi S. Burstein. All rights reserved.






Lenten Bell Photo #3 Lenten Bell Photo #3
Photo © 2008 by Nomi S. Burstein. All rights reserved.






Lenten Bell Photo #4 Lenten Bell Photo #4
Photo © 2008 by Nomi S. Burstein. All rights reserved.





Lenten Bell Photo #5 Lenten Bell Photo #5
Photo © 2008 by Nomi S. Burstein. All rights reserved.





Lenten Bell Photo #6 Lenten Bell Photo #6
Photo © 2008 by Nomi S. Burstein. All rights reserved.





Lenten Bell Photo #7 Lenten Bell Photo #7
Photo © 2008 by Nomi S. Burstein. All rights reserved.





As you can see from the pictures, they swung the bell from one side to the other in the process of lowering it. If you put all seven pictures in a row, you get a cool flip-book movie.


Lenten Bell Lowered Lenten Bell Lowered
Photo © 2008 by Nomi S. Burstein. All rights reserved.



So an era is at an end. After about eighty years, the Danilov Monastery bells will go back to their rightful place, and the Lowell House bell tower will play host to a brand new set of authentic Russian bells.
Tags: harvard, personal
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