The Bath & Wells Diocesan Association of Change Ringers

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The Death of HM Queen Elizabeth 2nd - Guidance for Ringing

Today we mourn the loss of our Sovereign, Queen Elizabeth 2nd, the Servant Queen.

A prayer on the death of Her Majesty the Queen.

Gracious God, we give thanks
for the life of your servant Queen Elizabeth,
for her faith and dedication to duty.
Bless our nation as we mourn her death
and may her example continue to inspire us;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Below is the official guidance as shown on the Central Council website and as referred to in the official Church of England guidance.

On the day of announcement of the death of Monarch:

Bells should be rung half or fully muffled depending on how many muffles you have. If you have enough muffles it would be appropriate to ring fully muffled with the tenor backstroke open. The Royal Household have advised the following times that ringing should take place based on the timing of the official announcement:

On the announcement of Death, Bells may be rung or tolled at the discretion of local Parochial Church Councils. They may be rung or tolled for one hour as shown below:

  • If the announcement occurs before 1100hrs: noon on the day of death.
  • If the announcement occurs between 1100hrs and 1600hrs: 1800 hours on the day of death
  • If the announcement occurs after 1600hrs: noon on the following day

Provided that ringing has been approved by the church authorities and does not conflict with other guidance, longer lengths of ringing may be appropriate.

Following days:

Bells should remain half or fully muffled until the day that the Palace proclaims the new Monarch. At that point bells should be rung open in celebration of the accession at a practicable time (again, with the agreement of the church) following the announcement.

Bells should then revert to being rung half or fully muffled until the day of the state funeral (10 days after the announcement of the death).

On the day of the funeral bells should be tolled for the hour immediately prior to the time of the Funeral Service. This may afford those an opportunity to ring a quarter peal, but general ringing or tolling would be acceptable.