Hear Ye!  Hear Ye! We are looking for hand bell ringers to participate in this unique music ministry.

The ability to read music is not necessary in order to become a member of our St. Faustina group, which we know will be a welcome addition to all of our special liturgies.  The only qualification to become a bell ringer is the willingness to learn and have a GREAT TIME!

Our Handbell Choir will make its debut at our Christmas Eve 9:00 pm Christmas Carol presentation.  What a great way to kick-off this ministry…and we invite you to be a part of it!!

If you are interested or would like more information, please contact our Director of Liturgy and Music, Kelly Mucci, at: kmucci@stfaustina.org or by calling her at 352-515-9297.

Practices are held on Wednesday night from 7:00 to 8:00 pm.

Hand held bells have a long history dating back to between 1696 and 1724.  Handbells were first taken to the United States from England by Margaret Shurcliff in 1902. She was presented with a set of 10 handbells in London by Arthur Hughes, the general manager of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry.

The bells used in American handbell choirs are almost always English handbells. “English handbells” is a reference to a specific type of handbells, not to the country of origin. While some American handbell choirs do use bells made in England, the majority play bells made either by Malmark Bellcraftsmen or by Schulmerich, both based I Pennsylvania.

A handbell choir or ensemble (in the United States) or handbell team (in England) is a group that rings recognizable music with melodies and harmony.

The bells are typically arranged chromatically on foam-covered tables; these tables protect the bronze surface of the bell, as well as keep the bells from rolling when placed on their sides. Unlike an orchestra or choir in which each musician is responsible for one line of the texture, a handbell ensemble acts as one instrument, with each musician responsible for particular notes, sounding his or her assigned bells whenever those notes appear in the music.

To ring a handbell, the ringer moves it in such a way that the clapper strikes the inside surface of the bell, usually holding it against his or her shoulder, bell upwards, and then swinging the bell through an elliptical shape to cause the clapper to strike the casting. The tone of the bell will continue to resonate, decaying naturally until it stops completely or the ringer stops it by damping the bell with a hand or on the body or a padded surface.

If you would like to learn more about this unique brand of music, please go to: Handbell – Wikipedia