March 29, 2012
Two Panikhidas for Colonel Philip Ludwell III

Tuesday, March 14/27, 2012, marked the two hundred and forty-fifth anniversary of the repose of Colonel Philip Ludwell III of Williamsburg, VA. The metrical books of the Russian Orthodox Church in London, England record that he died at his home in London on 5:00 PM on March 14 O.S., 1767, having previously been confessed and received Holy Unction and Holy Communion.

Ludwell is the first known convert to Orthodoxy in the Americas, having been received at the Russian Orthodox Church in London, England in 1738. Further details of his life may be found elsewhere on this site.

With the blessing of Archimandrite Luke, Abbot of Holy Trinity Monastery, a panihida was served in the lower cathedral church by Archpriest Gregory Naumenko (rector of the Protection of the Mother of God Church in Rochester, NY), who also teaches pastoral theology and homiletics at Holy Trinity Seminary. Responses were sung by a small choir of seminarians under the direction of Reader Ephraim Willmarth, who is the Administrative Assistant to the dean of the Seminary. Members of the monastic community and local Orthodox believers also shared in the memorial.

Also commemorated at the panihida were members of the Colonel’s family: his daughters Hannah, Frances, and Lucy and the latter’s husband, John Paradise.

A short reflection on the significance of Colonel Ludwell’s life both for the Orthodox Church in Russia and the Americas and his role in early American history was offered by Nicholas Chapman before the commencement of the memorial.

On the evening of the same day, a panihida was also served at St. John of Kronstadt Memorial Church in Utica, NY. Parish rector Archpriest Michael Taratuchin, when announcing the service on the previous Sunday, had noted that he was born very close to the church in the East End of London, England, where Colonel Ludwell was buried.

Memory eternal to Colonel Philip Ludwell!

Republication of materials must include a reference to: 
"Eastern American Diocese"

Media Office of the Eastern American Diocese