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The Ludwell Blog

News and research on the life, community, and worldview of Colonel Philip Ludwell III.
Philip Ludwell presanctified liturgy translation

Calling All Parishes: Please Remember Philip Ludwell III on March 27

Presanctified Liturgy in Washington, DC using Philip Ludwell's translation, Lent 2015.
Presanctified Liturgy in Washington, DC using Philip Ludwell’s translation, Lent 2015.

March 27, 2019 will mark the 252nd anniversary of the falling asleep in the Lord of the ever-memorable Colonel Philip Ludwell III of Greenspring, Virginia. This year March 27 will fall on a Wednesday of the Great Lenten Fast when many Orthodox Christians will be at church for the celebration of the evening service known as the Divine Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts.

Therefore, as the Associates of Colonel Philip Ludwell III, one of whose primary tasks is to perpetuate his memory and make it better known, we would ask Orthodox parishes and monasteries to consider either serving a memorial service for the Ludwell family, serving a Presanctified Liturgy using Philip Ludwell’s 18th-century English translation, or both:

1. Serve a Memorial Service for the Ludwells

Orthodox, memorial service, panihida, ludwell
Koliva, served at a memorial service for the Ludwell family in Washington, DC. In eastern Christian tradition, this boiled wheat dish is symbolic of death and resurrection.

With the anniversary of Philip Ludwell’s repose on a Wednesday this year, we suggest serving a memorial service for him in church on Wednesday, March 27. You could also include all the members of the wider Ludwell family whom we know with certainty were Orthodox Christians:

  • Philip’s daughters Hannah, Frances, and Lucy
  • Lucy’s Anglo-Greek husband John (the first naturalized citizen of the United States) and his English father Peter
  • John and Lucy’s daughters Lucy Barziza and Philippa Paradise

These are the first family of Orthodoxy in North America and as the future President Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1788 in a letter introducing Lucy Barziza: “Her ancestors in general, both on the side of the father and mother, have been of the most distinguished in that country [i.e., the USA] from its first settlement.”

2. Serve a Presanctified Liturgy Using Philip Ludwell’s 1760 English Translation

We encourage parishes to serve the Divine Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts on Wednesday, March 27 using the English translation of that service prepared by Colonel Ludwell c. 1760. The text of this translation may be purchased here and text set to music can be downloaded for free here. This service is central to the Orthodox Lenten season. As Colonel Ludwell wrote/translated in his introduction to the service text:

Our devout & pious Forefathers contemplating the Strict Obligation of the holy & great Lent; instituted & established by the express Command of the Apostolic Laws; were apprehensive that even the celebration of the ever blessed Eucharist might be in some sort a violation of the strictness of the Fast; in as much as this is the highest festive Rite. Wherefore, that they might accommodate all things; preserve the Fast entire. & yet the Food of Life not be witheld from pious Souls

Philip Ludwell III of Greenspring, Virginia

If your parish is able to do either of these things please let us know and if you can, send photos. I can be reached at

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