Moscow, March 17, Interfax – Ensemble of St. Daniel’s historical bells toll in St. Daniel’s monastery for the first time in eighty years on March 17, which is commemoration day of Prince Daniel of Moscow.
In the morning, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia celebrated the Divine Liturgy in the monastery’s Trinity Cathedral. Festival ceremony of the first ringing of the bells returned from Harvard University took place after the Liturgy.
Five bell-ringers performed the ringing almost unrehearsed. Until now, the monastery had used old bells. They were set at a temporary ground based belfry at the central monastery square.
The old bells have last ringed on March 17. Farewell with former temporary bells took place during the ceremony.
Voice of St. Daniel’s bells was considered the most beautiful in Moscow. Today the city authorities realize an expensive project of fortifying the belfry and mounting the historical bells.
Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov, presidential envoy to the Central Federal District Georgy Poltavchenko and representatives of the USA Embassy in Russia attended the festival ceremony.
Some hundreds of believers came to St. Daniel’s Monastery to participate in the festival event.
Historical bells of St. Daniel’s Monastery were brought back to their monastery on September 2008 after spending about eighty years in USA “emigration.”
First of eighteen historical bells was brought back from New York to Moscow in September 2007.
The bells hardly survived the 1930s and were sold abroad. Member of the American charitable mission in Moscow and Harvard University Professor Thomas Wittemore saved the bells from total loss. He persuaded American manufacturer Charles Richard Crane, who was interested in Russia, to buy the bells.
Several buildings of the Harvard University campus were adjusted to have the bells installed on them.
First attempts to bring the unique bells back to Russia were taken in the mid 1980s. After talks with Harvard University organized by Alexy II and Svyaz Vremyon foundation and final agreement on their return to Russia signed in March 2007 the Society of Church bell ringers made their exact copies in Voronezh. It was decided to gift two more bells to Harvard. They won't be a part of the University complex.