St. Vladimir Church Blesses Bells
St. Vladimir Church Russian Orthodox Church Ann Arbor, MI

On Sunday, May 9/22, 2005, the commemoration of the translation of the relics of St.
Nicholas the Wonderworker, with the blessing of His Grace Bishop Peter of Cleveland,
the parish family of St. Vladimir Church in Ann Arbor, MI celebrated a great and
momentous event – the blessing of the parish’s new bells. Following the Divine Liturgy
a procession to the new bell tower was held with the choir under the direction of Mrs.
Julia Easson-Meyer leading the faithful in the singing of the Paschal Troparion, “Christ is
Risen from the dead…” in the many languages represented in the multi-ethnic parish.
Although the parish has, from its inception in 1981 been a part of the Russian Orthodox
Church Abroad, it has also always been a “mixed” parish, with Russians, Serbs, Greeks, Arabs, and many American converts.

As the procession neared the bell tower (built by the parish’s St. John of Shanghai & San Francisco Brotherhood approximately 30 feet away from the present parish church to accommodate the soon to be undertaken expansion of the church), the faithful gathered around the new bells in anticipation. The Rector of the Parish, Priest Gregory Joyce, performed the sanctification of the bells according to the service in the Book of Needs (Trebnik), accompanied by the parish choir and Readers. At the conclusion of the blessing of the bells the altar servers who will ring the bells at the Divine Services at St. Vladimir’s began to ring the bells in earnest, beginning with a “blagovest” using the largest of the bells, and moving quickly into a “trezvon”. As the procession continued around the parish church and eventually into it, many of the parish children stayed behind to ring the bells, enjoying the beautifully sounds of the “singing icon” - the Russian Church bell.

St. Vladimir’s bells were struck specifically for the parish at the Perfect Cast Bell
foundry in Minsk, Belarus. The largest of the bells is emblazoned with the Kazan Icon of
the Mother of God, the refrain of the akathist to Our Lady, honoring Her Kazan Icon in
Church Slavonic “Rejoice O Helper of the Christian Race”, the short prayer “O Most
Holy Theotokos save us!”, “Ann Arbor”, and “2005”. The bells were purchased with
donations from the parish’s general fund, St. Xenia Sisterhood Fund, St. John
Brotherhood Fund, St. Herman Youth Group Fund, and from many generous and
anonymous donors.

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