Electronic bell ringer, the link between religion and technology

In times when the spirit of the “bunny” has completely taken over the Easter celebration, when “Christ Is Risen” is transmitted via WhatsApp, a new job has appeared – the electronic bell ringer, the one who brings the faithful to the church with the help of technology.

Such a person is Mihai Buculei, who says he is a bell ringer, yet an “electronic” one.

“I can be called a bell ringer, of course, but at the same time I deal with the implementation of electronic products in the church. We deal with everything that this entails, from motoring bronze bells, audio systems, procession devices, everything related to sound in the church. You can say that I’m a bell ringer, but it’s a small part, the one that keeps the bells moving. It’s a system that pulls the bell itself, with the help of technology,” he explains.

“If we look at the Catholic Church, a person should wake up at 5 in the morning, to shoot Angelos at 6.00, he should be careful, again, for 12:00 and for the evening. At the Orthodox Church, it also helps because you no longer have staff to work. Who comes during the summer, at 7 o’clock, to ring the bell? No one. And, for the most significant religious days, say August 15, at 8:00 a.m., you schedule it to ring the bell,” said Mihai Buculei, for AGERPRES.

Bell actuation in the age of technology can be done remotely, motorized, either programmed or operated via a smart phone. Toaca, another religious instrument that has the same “duties” of communication with the parishioners, cannot be motorized. The sound can be reproduced with the help of the “electronic bell”.

“How I started is a special matter, I was 26 years old, I had no job. I was in a club and I met an Italian. We started talking in English and that’s how I learned about this history with church loudspeakers and engines. Then I went to Italy for about 3 years, after which I said that I better come home because I saw that there was no point in working for him. I had no idea how to work at first. Then I saw that I was doing well and in 2011 I started my own business, at the Roman Catholic Cathedral of the Assumption of the Mother of God in Iasi and then we gradually expanded. It also remained my soul’s work, the most important, because it was also the first,” the bell ringer says.

Mihai “rings the bells” in several churches, having an impressive portfolio in his 13 years of career. “Clients” come to him through the classical method, “word of mouth”, because a priest satisfied with the ministry recommends you to colleagues.

Prices differ depending on the complexity of the work. But it matters just as much if the structure of the church, of the towers in which the bronze bells are located, allows some works to be carried out.

There is also competition on the market of “electronic bell ringers”, especially since there are specialized companies working in the field for a long time, which have gained experience.

“The Orthodox Church doesn’t really accept electronic bells. Rare are the cases in which electronic bells are installed, because there is no money or because, being in the city, the block next to it is taller than the church. But otherwise, the Orthodox Church prefers the bronze bell. Yet, it supports motorization. But that’s where all the things have to be in place, because the bell must remain in the same position,” the bell ringer adds.