Tower Bells at Reformation

Christian tradition ascribes great importance to church bells. They call the faithful to worship; they mourn the dead and escort them to their final resting place; they remind us in our daily occupations of God’s presence in the world.

The exciting peal of four cast bronze tuned bells in the tower of Reformation Lutheran Church was installed in stages. The largest bell, the bourdon, is a bell of just under 1,500 pounds and sounds musical note G3. (For reference, middle C on a piano is C4; G3 is G directly below middle C.) The bourdon bell was cast and installed in 2003. The bellframe that was installed with the G3 bell was designed and manufactured to be ready for the addition of three future bells to complete a traditional Westminster peal. These three additional bells, C4, 639 pounds, D4, 484 pounds, and E4, 342 pounds, were installed in 2007.

The bells swing for celebratory occasions, the bourdon sounds a traditional call-to-worship, and all four bells are fitted with externally mounted bellstrikers that strike the bells when they are not swinging. The bellstrikers provide traditional bell rings such as the Westminster clock chime melody, hour strikes, funeral tolls, and an electronically controlled change ring sequence.

The bells were cast with custom inscriptions, tuned and polished by the Paccard Fonderie des Cloches, of Annecy, France.

To view and listen to our Church bells, please click here.  

The Paccard family has been in business since 1796, and is currently operated by the seventh generation. The Paccard bell is a masterpiece of form and function. The Paccards invested thirty-nine years perfecting the shape (or profile) of their bells to develop a sound that has been described by carillonneurs around the world as “warm, sweet sounding, and rich.” Additionally, the tuning of the bells is exceptionally precise.

The tuning process involves strengthening the fundamental or prime note of the bell, minimizing the minor third, and bringing into precise tune all of the harmonics. Each bell has at least eight “notes” within the bell that must be perfectly tuned in order for the bell to be in fellowship with itself. Once a bell is “in tune” with itself, it can be added to a larger set of bells and be in perfect harmony.

This musical instrument of bells was designed by Stan Christoph of Christoph Paccard Bellfoundries, located in Charleston, South Carolina ( The focus of the creative vision was to design an instrument that, while serving the needs and desires of a congregation, also leaves open all options for the future for expansion of the instrument. In future years, we will have the opportunity to add carillon bells to our peal, so that we can enhance our outreach to our community with a careful schedule of hymns and other spiritual songs as well as the occasional carillon concert for special events.