BY MADISON FREDERICK
Until you move away from the Triad area, you may not appreciate the heart-felt tradition of the Moravian Lovefeast. I speak from experience. If you grow up in Winston-Salem, and especially as a Moravian, Lovefeast is a normal part of the calendar year for you. But when your location changes, try explaining what Lovefeast is to others! It is hard to put those feelings into words.
This lovely service is not a sacrament of the church, but an expression of love to one another and for one another in fellowship. It is a service of eating spice buns, drinking coffee, praying, singing, and listening to beautiful music. Wonderful!
You may appreciate the Moravian Lovefeast for its historical significance as well. As followers of Jan Hus, the rebellious priest who was burned at the stake in 1415, the Moravians became the earliest Protestant denomination and established themselves as a separate church in 1467. The early Moravians were a gentle people who trusted the defense of their beliefs to their faith rather than to walls or military battles. Their passive resistance stood against the combined strength of the Roman Church and the armies of the Holy Roman Empire. This steadfast faith proved to be a great lesson in history as the band of believers survived the wrath of a powerful Rome, thus proving the impossibility of destroying the Moravians by force. Eventually, the United Brethren sought religious freedom in America and their influence and customs have shaped many of our lives here in this century.
I urge you to take advantage of the many available Lovefeasts given in this area during the holiday season and choose a time and location to experience the “love.” The hard work that goes into planning, producing, and giving a Lovefeast is monumental. The word “diener” means servant in German and the dieners who serve you coffee and buns are appropriately named. They serve joyfully. Many other servants are washing the mugs, performing the music, making the candles, baking the buns, and brewing the coffee. It is a service of love in every aspect.
Merry Christmas to you.
….and thanks to all the area folks who put the “love” into our LOVEFEASTS!