The Carillon

Tucked away in the hallway behind the high altar there is a console, for playing the eight bells in the tower above the church. The bells, one weighing two tons and big enough to stand up inside, are held rigidly in a metal cage, since the walls of the church tower were not considered strong enough to allow them to swing. Clappers strike the bells producing a more muted sound. When this console was installed in 1938 it was considered quite innovative, allowing the bells to be played manually or by rolls as a ‘player organ’ whereby both hymns and ‘changes’ can be played.

The bells can also be played from a manual keyboard at the top of the bell tower and by a rope leading into the nave of the church, which allows one bell to be rung. The angelus is rung from this bell three times a day; as well it is rung at the consecration of the bread and wine at mass on Sunday morning and at the conclusion of funerals. The bells of course were in place for the opening of the church, but the priest of the day declared that they not be rung until the debt of the building be paid off and that happened on Christmas Eve, the following year, 1937.