(ROCOR-EAD) - Just over 250 years ago, Colonel Philip Ludwell III (1716-1767) made the first complete English translation of the Divine Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts. He was a Virginian plantation owner, who in 1738 travelled to England to be received into Holy Orthodoxy at the parish in London under the authority of the Holy Governing Synod of the Russian Church. His translation of The Divine & Holy Liturgy of St. Gregory the Dialogist as it is Performed without a Deacon was most probably made in the summer of 1761, when he had again travelled to London with his three daughters. They were received into the Church there before the Presanctified Liturgy of Holy Wednesday, 1762.
Colonel Ludwell’s translation has recently been transcribed from the original handwritten text by Reader Nicholas Chapman and prepared for use with a deacon by Reader Peter Gardner. It has also been updated to conform to contemporary usage, and a short historical introduction added. This edition was published at the end of February by St. Polycarp Press, Alexandria, VA and can be purchased here.
The Liturgy will be served for the first time on the Friday, March 20, on the Fourth Week of Great Lent, at St. John the Baptist Cathedral in Washington, DC. It is hoped that other parishes will follow suit and perhaps also serve a panihida for Colonel Ludwell (who reposed on March 14/27, 1767), following the blessing given for this by His Eminence Hilarion, Metropolitan of Eastern America & New York, in December 2011.