BLAGOVEST – The Announcement. This is a slow rhythmic, unhurried striking of one bell, which is usually rung for the announcing of the beginning of services: Before the All-Night Vigil (also accompanied by the Trezvon); before each group of services of the daily cycle (9th Hour Vespers Compline; Nocturns Matins 1st Hour; 3rd Hour 6th Hour Liturgy or Typical Psalms); and before Great Compline). The Announcement is also employed at other important moments of the services. For example, there are Twelve strikes for the twelve parts of the Creed and also before It is truly meet… of the Divine Liturgy; before the Molieben (if there be) following the Liturgy.
During Great Lent on weekdays, the Announcement Bell is rung at the 3rd, 6th, and 9th Hours, as well as at Great Compline three strikes for the 3rd Hour, six for the 6th Hour, nine for the 9th Hour, and twelve for Great Compline. During Passion Week, the Announcement Bell is rung at the beginning of each Passion Gospel (Holy Friday Matins), according to the number of the Gospel one strike for the first, two for the second, etc. (At the conclusion of the reading of the Passion Gospels, the Trezvon is rung.) At the Royal Hours of Holy Friday, the Bell is rung three strikes for the 3rd Hour, six for the 6th and nine for the 9th.
Before the Divine Liturgy, the Announcement Bell is rung until the Hours begin (usually accompanied by twelve recitations of Psalm 51 for twelve strikes of the Bell or the recitation of Psalm 119), usually about one-half hour before the Liturgy.