Armistice Day: Ringing Bells for World Peace

Armistice Day: Ringing Bells for World Peace

First Congregational Church in Rockland's historic bell

Last Sunday, November 11, was the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day - a day marking the end of fighting in WWI.  At 11 AM, when the fighting stopped, church bells rang all over the world in celebration and hope for an end to all wars. In commemoration of this special anniversary, the Smedley D. Butler Brigade Chapter (Boston) of the national Veterans for Peace encouraged faith communities to toll their bells at the 11th hour on 11/11 in hope for world peace.
Nearly 100 churches in Massachusetts signed up to do just that (see a partial list below).

At First Congregational Church of Rockland, the theme of Sunday’s service was ‘Let it Begin With Me’.  After joining in a Litany for Veterans, the congregation joined voices for the beautiful, “Let There be Peace on Earth” as their historic century-old church bell tolled 21 times in honor of all veterans.

“Many said the tolling bell was a moving experience,” said church Rev. Alan C. Copithorne. “We’re glad to have been part of such a historic day, with a message so much needed now as it was 100 years ago.”
Children at First Congregational Church in Brimfield toll the bell

Watch a Facebook Live video of the bell ringing at Franklin Federated Church

At the First Congregational Church in Brimfield, congregants were surrounded by sound at 11:00 as a group of children rang the church bell 11 times, while in the sanctuary, three members of the Brimfield Bells used hand bells to ring.

At Hadwen Park Congregational Church in Worcester, the service was halted at the strike of 11:00 and veterans invited to stand as church elder and veteran Charlie MacMillan tolled the bell 11 times. As the last ring faded, the congregation sang “God Bless America.”

Doug Stuart, member of the Smedley D. Butler Brigade of the Veterans for Peace and organizer of this event in Massachusetts, has this message for all who participated:

"Thanks very much to all of the churches in the MACUCC who rang their bell this year on Armistice Day, the day designated by the U.S. Congress for churches to ring their bells as a call to our nation, to 'rededicate our country to the cause of world peace.'  We had close to 100 churches in our Commonwealth participate!  It was a surprisingly heartwarming response to our call, and for many of our membership, veterans of war who now advocate for peace, an unexpected renewal of our relationship with our church, and our unexpected, "WELCOME HOME"! ~ Doug Stuart
The Smedley D. Butler Brigade Chapter of the Veterans for Peace works to advance peace and educate people to the perils and horrors of war. Many members are combat veterans who have faced death in combat. The group is adamant about bringing peace to the table wherever they go. Learn more about the Smedley D. Butler Brigade Chapter and the national Veterans for Peace.
A partial list of participating churches follows. If your church participated and is not on this list, email Karen Methot at and you will be added.



Partial List of Bell-Ringing Churches  November 11, 2018
United Church of Christ in Abington Abington
Main Street Congregtaional UCC Amesbury Amesbury
West Parish Church, Andover  Andover
First Parish, UU Andover
Memorial Congrgational Church, Baldwinville Baldwinville
First Parish, UU Bedford
First Parish, UU                                                                 Belmont
Second Congregational Church, Beverly  Beverly
Arlington Street UU Boston
Community Church of Boston  Boston
Old South, UCC Boston
First Congregational Church of Brimfield, UCC Brimfield
United Church of Christ, Congregational   Burlington
United Church of Christ Burlington
The Memorial Church, Harvard University Cambridge
University Lutheran, at Harvard Cambridge
Harvard-Epworth UMC Cambridge
First Church, UCC Cambridge
Friends Meeting Cambridge
West Concord Union Church, Concord  Concord
Plymouth Church, UCC                                                      Framingham
Franklin Federated Church Franklin
Church of Christ Congregational, Granby Granby
Groveland Congregational Church, Groveland  Groveland
Memorial Church Harvard
Linden Ponds Community Church Hingham  Hingham
Hopedale Unitarian Church Hopedale
First Congregational Church of Huntington, UCC Huntington
First Parish, UU Lexington
Town of Lexington (all churches)                                       Lexington
First Church Unitarian Unitarian                                          Littleton
Christ Church United, Lowell  Lowell
The First Church in Ludlow Ludlow
First Congregational Church, UCC, Melrose  Melrose
Trinity Episcopal Church Milford
First Parish, UU                                                                 Needham
First Unitarian Society                                                        Newton
United Parish of Auburndale, UMC & UCC                          Newton
Newton Highlands Cong’l Church, UCC Newton
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Newton Highlands
Eliot Church, UCC                                                             Newton Highlands
Trinitarian Congregational, UCC in North Andover North Andover
North Parish, UU North Andover
The Federated Church of Orleans Orleans
Second Church of Plymouth Plymouth
Quincy Point Congregational Church, Quincy Quincy
First Congregational Church UCC Randolph Randolph
First Congregational Church of Reading UCC Reading
First Congregational Church (UCC) in Rockland  Rockland
Tabernacle Congregational Church, Salem  Salem
Tabernacle Cong’l Church Salem
First Cong’l Church, UCC South Hampton
First Presbyterian Church South Lyon
First Congregational Church of Southampton, UCC  Southampton
Memorial Congregational Church, Sudbury Sudbury
The Congregational Church of Topsfield Topsfield
United Parish of Upton, Upton MA Upton
Trinitarian Congregational Church of Warwick Warwick
Wellesley Hills Congregational Church  Wellesley Hills
First Unitarian Universalist Society in Newton  West Newton
Hadwen Park Congregational Church, Worcester Worcester
First Parish of Westwood Westwood
The United Church of Jaffrey in Jaffrey NH Jafffey NH
Trinitarian Church, UCC Jaffrey, NH
First Presbyterian Church of South Lyon Lyon, Michigan
St. John's Episcopal Church, Warsaw, Virginia Warsaw, VA

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