Lovefeasts: A Beautiful Moravian Tradition

08.14.15

    The early Christians met and broke bread together to signify their unity, fellowship, and love. In 1727, the Moravian Church revived this practice, and it has established the custom of celebrating the great church festivals by sharing together a simple meal known as a "lovefeast."

    The First Lovefeasts in America

    The first lovefeasts of the Moravian Church in North America were held in Savannah Georgia, during the years 1735 to 1740. The first lovefeast in North Carolina was held on the evening of the arrival of the first Moravian colonists in the settlement of Bethabara on November 17, 1753.

    Lovefeasts at Christ the King

    The Children's Lovefeast is a favorite Moravian tradition that honors the faith of children in the church, celebrated here each August with the sharing of lemonade and sugar cookies. It is a wonderful occasion for the children to bring a friend to church!

    Christmas Eve Lovefeasts are part of our Moravian Christmas celebration here, and are the Lovefeast that is the most well-known. Each year we have two Christmas Eve services at 4:00 pm & 6:30 pm to honor the birth of our Savior. Many people enjoy coming for these beautiful candlelit services, so please allow time to get here early!

    At the Christmas Lovefeasts, we share buns and sweetened, creamy coffee together as a sign of unity and love. The coffee and buns are served by "dieners" (coming from the German word for "servers").

    The Christmas Lovefeast, with its lighted candles, is one of the most beautiful traditional services of the Moravian Church. The custom of lighted candles originated on the European continent at Marienborn in the year 1747, and spread throughout the Moravian world. The first Christmas Lovefeast in Bethabara, NC was in 1753, and the first in Salem, NC was in 1771.

    Every person is given a lighted candle as a reminder that Christ said, "I am the light of the world," and "You are the light of the world - let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven."
    – Matthew 5:16