Services to St Daniel of Moscow

Tradition and a new way of creation


  • Victoria Legkikh


On 30 August 1652, the relics of St Daniel of Moscow were found, and were transferred to the Cathedral of the Holy Fathers of the Seven Ecumenical councils. It is difficult to pinpoint the exact time of the canonization of St Daniel. Archimandrite Dionysius believed that it happened on the 30 August 1652, while the Orthodox Theological Encyclopedia gives the time of his canonization as the end of the 17th or the early 18th century and Evgenij Golubinsky mentions the end of the 18th century. In spite of the late canonization of the saint, a proposal to canonize St Daniel had appeared in the 16th century, when Tsar Ivan the Terrible ordered a Vita to be written for the prince. In Stepennaya Kniga (second half of the 16th cent.) he is described as a saint whose day is 4 March. It is also possible that stichera and a canon were written at the same time, but that this was interrupted by the Time of Troubles.

There are three services to St Daniel of Moscow. The earliest is attributed to Semen Alferiev and monk Sergius. The oldest manuscript containing this service is a manuscript of the second half of the 16th century from the Undolskij Collection in Moscow State library. During the reign of Kings John V and Peter I, a new version, which repeatedly mentioned a reliquary which appeared in 1652, was created. A new service to Daniel of Moscow was written in 1711 by hieromonk Karion (Istomin) of the Monastery of Chudov and editor of the “Printing House” (Pechatny dvor), commissioned by Macarius, abbot of Daniel’s Monastery and by the former deacon Karion (Borin). Another service to Prince Daniel was compiled under Empress Elizabeth Petrovna. The earliest copy is dated by to the 1750s (Central Museum of Old Russian Culture and Art КP 3945.6). The service to St Alexander Nevsky became a model for a new service.

The objects of my analysis are the first and the third version of the service dedicated to St Daniel of Moscow. These two versions were chosen cause of the same model for both versions – the service to St Alexander Nevsky. But even if the model was the same we can see different ways of working with it which show not only the individual approach of the hymnographer, but also the styles and requirements of different periods.

Conference Papers



How to Cite

Legkikh, Victoria. 2020. “Services to St Daniel of Moscow: Tradition and a New Way of Creation”. Journal of the International Society for Orthodox Music 3 (January):200-219.