March 29, 2012
Two Panikhidas for Colonel Philip Ludwell III
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
Memory eternal to Colonel Philip Ludwell!
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Office of the Eastern American Diocese