Thursday, June 23, 2011

"Wake up!", "Wake up!"

When my partner and I were in Lincoln, England, at the Cathedral, we were responsible for a variety of duties, one of which was opening the Cathedral during week days to prepare for the early Mass.

In addition to the opening procedure (which included letting out any pigeons that had made there way in through the bell tower over night!), John served the priest at Mass, and I was responsible for ringing the morning bell, calling the City of Lincoln to worship.

I can not explain the great joy I experienced ringing that bell. The bell had to be rung a certain number of times to indicate the time and day. I am afraid, after 25 years, I have forgotten the formula, but when I was ringing the bell however, I never forgot. In "The Usages of the Cistercian Monks", it reads "The Abbot will confide the task of ringing the bells to a monk who is noted for punctuality, so that all may be done at the correct time." I took this very seriously. I am a punctual person.

When ringing the bells, which was a tradition that went back hundreds of years at Lincoln Cathedral, the Cathedral being at that time over 900 years old, I could feel the history. I was often "accompanied " by a medieval ringer, who although imaginary, had left a presence that was unmistakable. To fit into a centuries old tradition in Lincoln, being an American, was a great and humbling honor.

To call the town to Mass, to worship, was a great gift. "Wake up ", Wake up ", the bell would ring. I sometimes thought of those who might take exception to it all. "There are those damn bells again", I could hear the non appreciative sleeper say. But the bells were for the "believers ", not the sleepy."Wake up ", "Wake up " the bell would ring.

Today, as I write my notes and blogs, I again call "Wake up ", "Wake up ". The bells are ringing. Know this; you and I are One. The bells ring for us to "Wake up " out of this "dream " of you and I, and realize we are One. Hear the bells. They say OM.


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