The Novo-Tikhvin Women's Monastery
 
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Site Updates:

16 May 2019
Section Feasts and Weekdays was refreshed. There a story "Sing ye to the Lord our God, sing ye! An exhortation of abbess Domnika to the newly tonsured nuns" appeared


3 December 2018
Section Feasts and Weekdays was refreshed. There a story "Our taboo – not a word about your neighbor’s shortcomings" appeared


17 September 2018
Section Feasts and Weekdays was refreshed. There a story "All of creation rejoices in thee, o full of grace! A church in honor of the Most Holy Theotokos has been consecrated" appeared


23 May 2018
Section Feasts and Weekdays was refreshed. There a story "The Resurrected Church of St. Alexander Nevsky. A Photo-narrative" appeared



Hand-painted icons by the sisters of the Monastery

Chanting Obedience

Chanters in the church of St. Ignatius Skete
Chanters in the church of St. Ignatius Skete

Perhaps, it is unnecessary to say that chanting obedience is one of the most important obediences in the monastery. Pious, attentive singing does not simply adorn the service, but through it a special prayerful mood of all those present in the church is created.

The monastery choir was formed in 1994, immediately upon the renovation of the abode. At first the chanting obedience had only three people, today there are fourteen chanters. The ancient Russian church singing whose origins go back to the ancient chanting system of Byzantium, is being revived in the abode. Znamenny, demestvenny, and putevoy are the main ancient chants. Until the middle of the XVII century namely these chants resounded in all the Orthodox Churches in Russia. Their melodies impact the listener in a particular way, they lead one's soul away from the earthly vanity and tune it toward prayer.

Chants copied by sisters
Chants copied by sisters

The melodies are written in special signs (or "hooks") which were used for recording the melodies of ancient chants. They are different from the modern notation in that a single hook can signify several sounds (two ascending or two descending sounds, a melodic group consisting of several sounds, as well as an entire musical phrase). In antiquity these signs also pointed to the character of performance, for example, "to voice out with radiance and dignity," "to quaver and curl with the larynx," "to jerk with the throat twice," and others.

To select the repertoire of church pieces, sisters use copies of some of the ancient manuscripts from Kirillo-Belozersky, Solovetsky, and other monasteries. The script there is small and hard to read, and for the convenience of performance sisters copy the music themselves, trying to preserve the ancient style of script and design of manuscripts. For solving many unavoidably arising problems, sisters turn to the specialists of St.-Petersburg and Moscow who do research of ancient manuscripts.

At the lesson
At the lesson

Ancient Russian church chant originated on the basis of the ancient Byzantine chant, so sisters undertake the attempts to revive this tradition as well. For example, the chants at the service are performed according to the Byzantine fashion, with eson. Eson is an unceasingly lasting sound against which the melody is sung. In antiquity it was considered the main element of singing, a symbol of eternity.

In the future we plan to produce a compact disk with the recording of church chants performed by the sisters.

Music performed by the sisters

  1. "Quiet refuge" (1:04; 1,48 MB)
    Stichera from the service to the Tikhvinskaya icon of Theotokos. .
    Znamenny chant.
  2. "Eis polla eti, despota" (0:53; 1,24 MB)
    Demestvenny chant.
  3. " Co-unoriginate Word " (2:35; 3,56 MB)
    Sunday Troparion tone 5.
    Znamenny chant.
  4. " Praise the Lord from the heavens " (2:14; 3,09 MB)*
    Communion verse.
    Demestvenny chant.
  5. " Come, let us worship " (1:12; 1,66 MB)*
    Demestvenny chant.

* Sisters express their profound gratitude to Daniil Syapin who carried out the reconstruction of these music pieces.

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All of the icons on the site are painted by the sisters of the monastery

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