News - 2008
Last Updated (Thursday, 03 September 2009 00:01)
Special Event at Harvard University.
On July 8th a special Thanksgiving moleben has been served at Harvard University in honor of the return of the bells to St. Daniel's Monastery in Moscow.
A video of the return of the bells to St. Daniel's Monastery been postet on this website http://www.russiatoday.com/news/news/27267/video
Rector and parishioners of Holy Epiphany Church participate in the official exchange of the Danilov Bells.
On July 8, 2008, the Link of Times Foundation and Harvard University hosted a ceremony marking the official exchange of the historic St. Danilov (St. Daniel’s) Monastery bells for their replicas and the transfer of the bells to Russia. Harvard visitors had a unique opportunity to look at two sets of the majority of the bells simultaneously, the new set manufactured at the Vera plant in Voronezh and the historical St. Daniel's set. These bells are one of four existing bell sets from prerevolutionary times that were not destroyed.
The ceremony started at noon, about a block from the bell tower, with a short introductory speech, followed by a walk to the Lowell House bell tower, in order to witness the lowering of the last bell. The bell was removed from the tower and lowered to a waiting flatbed truck. The assembled clergy approached the truck, sang O Lord save Thy people (Spasi Gospodi liudi Tvoia) & and Archimandrite Alexii blessed the bell with holy water.
Returning to the ceremony venue, a Thanksgiving moleben was served by Archimandrite Alexii, the Prior of the St. Danilov Monastery. Concelebrating were Fr. Alexander Abramov, Secretary of the Representation of the Moscow Patriarchate in the USA; Igumen Joseph (Krioukov), Secretary of the Administrator of Patriarchal Parishes in the USA; Fr. Robert Arida, Rector of Holy Trinity Cathedral in Boston (OCA); and Fr. Victor Boldewskul, Rector of Holy Epiphany Church, Boston (ROCOR). Also serving were three deacons: Protodeacon Igor Panachev of St. Nicholas Cathedral (NY), Hierodeacon Roman of the St. Danilov Monastery and Deacon Theodore Feldman of the Holy Trinity Cathedral (Boston). Also in attendance was the Right Reverend Nikon, Bishop of Boston, New England and the Albanian Archdiocese. An 11 person choir from the Synodal Cathedral of Our Lady of the Sign in New York sang under the direction of Peter Fekula, who coincidentally, was a Lowell House resident and a bell ringer, and a Harvard graduate in 1985. Many parishioners from the Holy Epiphany parish and the Holy Trinity Cathedral were in attendance.
Following the Thanksgiving moleben, the choir gave a concert. It was followed by a short history of the bells, and speeches by Professor Diana Eck, Master of Lowell House, Archimandrite Alexii, and Viktor Vekselberg, Chairman of the Link of Times Foundation. Harvard President Dr. Drew Faust participated in the signing of paperwork making the transfer official. Once the paper work was signed, Mr. Vekselberg handed out gifts to the main participants of the historic transfer. In conclusion, all the guests were invited to ring the Tsarskii Bell, cast in 1682 by Fyodor Matorin, which then was loaded onto a flatbed truck next to its replica. A reception was held in the Lowell House courtyard for the invited guests, while others were treated to sandwiches and drinks at the ceremony site.
In the fall of 1930, the eighteen bells from the St. Danilov Monastery were sold to American industrialist Charles Richard Crane. Crane donated them to Harvard University, and ever since, the seventeen bells have hung in the Lowell House tower. Archimandrite Aleksii noted that the bells had found refuge at Harvard, as they would have undoubtedly been destroyed had they remained in Russia. The remaining bell had hung at Harvard Business School. It was removed on August 15, 2007 and returned to the Monastery. As many Harvard alumni acknowledge, for over 70 years the bells have been an integral part of university life – a tradition that will live on through the replicas cast in Russia.
The historic bells will be transported to New York and on to Russia by sea. The return trip of the bells will follow a route similar to their original voyage from Russia. The ship carrying the historic bell ensemble will arrive in St. Petersburg in mid-August. The bells will then proceed to Moscow, where on September 12, they will be officially returned to St. Danilov Monastery.
For more information, please see these websites. http://www.danilovbells.ru (in Russian only) & http://lowell.harvard.edu/Bells/ (in English only)