Bell
The Altar

The ringing of the bell during gongyo serves to offer a pleasing sound.  It should therefore not be sounded jarringly, but in a way that is pleasing to the ear.  There is a specific pattern of bell ringing in the course of the morning and evening recitation of the sutra gongyo.  It is described in the book, The Liturgy of the Buddhism of Nichiren Daishonin. 

The bell also communicates the starting and stopping of chanting for groups of people chanting together. If you live in an apartment complex or with others, be careful not to ring the bell so loudly that it might disturb them.  The ringing of the bell is an offering of a pleasing sound.