Bell Ringing at St Mary’s Cathedral

Bells have been rung as part of Christian ritual for centuries: they have summoned the faithful to worship since the 4th century, and the bells of St. Mary’s have done so since the Cathedral was opened in 1879. Our bells are some of the heaviest in Scotland and though they are not easy to ring, have a wonderfully rich and glorious sound.  Bells celebrate joyous occasions: they announce Sunday morning Eucharist and the Cathedral bells also ring regularly for weddings and special occasions such as the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, in commemoration of the end of the First World War, for the Ordination of clergy and for the great celebrations of the church throughout the Christian year – Christmas, Easter and Pentecost.

At St Mary’s our regular ringing happens as below:

Thursday Practice Night:  7-9pm

Sunday Morning Eucharist:  9.45-10.30am

In addition there is the possibility of extra ringing as indicated above.  In particular we occasionally ring for weddings on request, and we sometimes host Scottish Association of Change Ringers’ events, with ringing during that time.  We are also happy to welcome visiting bands to ring, usually on a Saturday. All of these sets of ringing usually last about one to one and a half hours of ringing, not continuous.

We ring quarter peals on some Sunday afternoons before Evensong.  This ringing is continuous for about an hour.

We allow 6 full Peals per year, although typically there are 2 or 3 per year.  This is the longest ringing that is done and once started is continuous ringing for up to 4 hours.  It is a considerable achievement on our heavy bells and the ringing is always of the highest standard.

The following times are when ringing will take place in addition to regular Thursday Practice and Sunday Morning ringing:

Sun 5th January,  2.30pm – 1/4 Peal for Epiphany

Sun 26th January, 2.30pm – 1/4 Peal for Installation of new Vice Provost

Sun 15th March, 2.30pm – 1/4 Peal

Sun 12th April, 2.30pm – 1/4 Peal for Easter

Sat 18th April, 10am – Full Peal by visiting band

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