Saturday, April 07, 2007

East Village Church Bells

It's the evening before Easter and church bells are ringing all over the East least those churches that have not yet been converted into apartments.

If you stand in the courtyard of my building facing north, you see the back of a Russian Orthodox church. Half of the wall is made up of ornate stained glass panels with a bell tower on top. During evening mass (which is rare), you can stand in my courtyard and look up at the brilliant stained glass brought to life by warm lights behind it.

Those bells are ringing right now.

Down the street, at Most Holy Redeemer Church I can hear their bells ringing. My parents were married there 55 years ago. Both churches keep their doors locked unless mass is being celebrated.

My son was baptised by my uncle, a Salesian priest, at Mary Help the Christians Church on 12th Street - just a few blocks away. The inside of that church is beautiful. Figures of saints are encased high above your head in a semi circle around the church that ends on either side of the alter. I've heard that church will be closing soon.

These celebrations are coming to an end in this neighborhood.


JT said...

I went to Most Holy Redeember on Maundy Thursday. Although we don't observe that night in my religous tradition, I like it anyway. I walked into the church late, about 10:30, and there was a small group of East Villagers chanting in Spanish against silence. It was nice.

JT said...

And I had no idea your parents were married there! You are such an East Villager--always will be, even if you move.

east village idiot said...

And my great grandfather helped build St. Brigids if you can believe it. Catholicism seems so far away to me now.

Dr. Deb said...

I loved the sound of church bells in the city. Living in the suburbs, it is a rare thing to hear nowadays.

Pretyy cool about your grandad and St. Brigs

Michael said...

It's a shame about the demolition plan for St. Brigid's.

I didn't visit the East Village over Easter weekend. It was too cold. Instead, I drove north to a Buddhist monastery in Carmel, N.Y.

Truth to tell, it's an interesting place to visit once. But I've been there a half-dozen times, which is probably five visits too many. Now, I mostly go for the ride up along the Palisades Interstate Parkway and Bear Mountain Bridge.

Linda said...

uh oh - should i have commented here? i'm confused ;)

Unknown said...

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I'm a student in CT and I'm writing an article about NYC's hidden treasures so to speak and I was hoping maybe you could help me being that you live in NYC.

I just wanted to know if there are any places you like to visit that the normal tourist would never know about?

You can email me at if you want ;)