Bells

Today I got to ring the bell for All Saints Day. I genuinely miss playing handbells. For a few minutes I helped create an experience for worshipers in church today. For a few seconds after each name, the bell penetrated the silence as an acknowledgement of our loss and a simultaneous acknowledgment of the communion of Saints. For a few minutes, I felt the tangible nostalgia of being in the bell stand next to Kim with Gary as our fearless leader. For just a moment as I slipped on the glove, the same expectation welled up inside of me that overflowed the day the bells processed in as the musical accompaniment for the bride at her wedding. As I dampened the bell on the final ring, I felt the note mute itself against my body in such a final termination that I can only recall one other similar instance: the final note of some distant Easter performance celebrating the Resurrected Jesus. At the conclusion of such a song, at the height of our joy, the bells silence, and we are jolted back to our reality. Is not resurrection and hope also what we celebrate today? At the silence of the final bell we awaken to the finality of our loss and the tangible hope we are left with. Jesus is risen, and we are here to live into that reality; our loved ones are saints gone before us, and we are here to lead others in faith as we have been led, until that day when we are celebrated Saints ourselves. The bell has been muted, and our job is to live as if it rings on.

-CL

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