Renovation of the Millennium Bell Tower was completed earlier this month.
Bells, sometimes referred to as 'aural icons', are an important feature in Orthodox Divine Liturgy and other services. A bell tower was built two years after the monastery founding in 1907 but was replaced several times (once after the wind blew the top off of the structure) through 1970. The tower was always a central feature of the Memorial Day Pilgrimages.
in 1970 “Realizing the significance of this First Council of the Orthodox Church in America, the delegates unanimously resolved to erect an appropriate Bell Tower in stone which would serve as a suitable living monument of this historic event within the life of the church in America, also serving as a memorial to the founders of the Orthodox Church in America. Within the Bell Tower, the resolution proposed that a chapel be erected and dedicated to the first saint of America, the Blessed Father Herman of Alaska.”
In 1996 the older bell tower was rebuilt with a larger structure and currently is the building that stands behind the monastery church. It houses an icon collection and the old bells are still there. They are rung at Pascha along with the new bells
The Millennium Bell Tower was constructed in 1988/89 as a memorial to the 1000 year anniversary of Orthodoxy in Russia...hence its name. The bells that are housed their were cast in Voronezh, Russia (St. Tikhon's home area) and where brought over and put in place for the 100th anniversary of the Monastery in 2005.
The bells are rung by hand and the original installation was not done in a way which allowed the bells to be rung properly. So, a professional bell technician was brought to the monastery in early July and he has re-hung the bells so they are easier to ring not only for special occasions but also for normal daily services.
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