Bell-ringing and bell-ringers

Today, the monastery has a well developed and clearly regulated canons and rules of bell-ringing, which date back to the rules of Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Laura.

«Weekday» Bell

The belfry is equipped with devices, which enable the bell-ringers to start and finish ringing simultaneously. St. Daniel’s Monastery bell-ringing tradition is known for its precision and accuracy.

The monastery bells ring several times a day. The solitary ringing of the 30 pood (500kg) «Weekday» Bell calls the monks for every-day church services. On Sundays, festive days and on especially solemn occasions all the monastery bells join in the holiday chimes, which last from 2 to 20 minutes and can be heard within a radius of 1.5 km from the monastery. In such cases, depending on the significance of the event, the bells are rung by one, two or three bell-ringers. Usually, they perform traditional Moscow and the Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Laura chimes.

St. Daniel’s Monastery bell-ringers, 2004

All holiday chimes are performed by specially trained brethren from St. Daniel’s Monastery. Their number varies from 6 to 8. The belfry has a special training simulator, which is used for everyday practice. Usually it takes about 3–5 weeks to master the basic ringing skills. In the near future, the monastery is planning to open a bell-ringing school at the Patriarchal Center for the Spiritual Development of Children and Young Adults located across the road from the monastery.

On May 9, 2006, the monastery had a modest celebration in honour of the 20th anniversary of the bell-ringing revival. This short but very important period was devoted to the revival of the bell-ringing tradition and skill and was marked by the establishment of the Canonical Bell-Ringers Society with Igor Konovalov at the head. In those 20 years, several dozens of bell-ringers had mastered traditional church bell-ringing skills at St. Daniel’s Monastery Belfry. Some of them have become quite famous. The Society has expanded and moved its headquarters to Christ the Savior Cathedral — the main cathedral of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Recently, the traditional «free» Eastertide bell-ringing contest, which gives everybody a chance to try their hand at bell-ringing, has become one of the most popular major events at St. Daniel’s Monastery. Another important Eastertide event is the annual concert held within the framework of the Moscow Easter Festival «Bell-Ringing Week». Virtuosos of bell-ringing from all over Russia come to the capital to demonstrate their art on Moscow belfries. Concerts held at St. Daniel’s Monastery, which has always been famous for its bells, always attract big audiences.


Moscow Easter
Festival Concert

Head Bell-Ringers of St. Daniel’s Monastery

The monastery Head Bell-Ringer is responsible for the monastery bell-ringing, for the instruction of new bell-ringers and for the safety and maintenance of the bells. As a rule, the Abbot confers this responsibility upon a monk with a considerable experience in bell-ringing. Since 1985, the above duties have been performed by the following Head Bell-Ringers:

1985–1990, Hieromonk Anthony (Plyasov)
1990–1992, Igor V. Konovalov
1992–1995, Hieromonk Peter (Meshcherinov)
1995–1997, Hieromonk Savva (Korol’kov)
1997–2002гг. Hierodeacon Filaret (Kochetkhov)
2002–2006, Hierodeacon Roman (Ogryzkov)
2006- to the present day, novice monk Sergiy Myalkovsky

«Bell-Ringing Week»

Traditionally, during the Easter Week after morning and evening services, anyone who wishes may climb up St. Daniel’s Monastery Belfry and take a hand in Easter ringing.

The Belfry is open:
  • for 1 hour after the Liturgy (from about 11:30a.m.);
  • for an hour after the evening service (from about 18:30)
  • On Easter Day, bell-ringing will start at about 12:00 a.m. and 17:00.
  • On Blessed Friday, the ringing will start at about 12:00 a.m.
  • On Blessed Saturday, the ringing session is held only in the morning at about 11:30 a.m.

Audio Recordings of Danilov Monastery Chimes

1996. The recordings were made by Danilov Monastery recording studio. The chimes are performed by I.V. Konovalov (MP3 format).

Recordings of bell-ringing from the Second Moscow Bell-Ringing Easter Festival of 2003 made and provided by the Canonical Bell-Ringers Society include: