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A traditional holiday celebration

Wake Forest’s Moravian lovefeast is largest in North America

By Peter Chawaga ('13), Intern Office of Communications and External Relations
lovefeast

On December 2, more than 2,000 students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members gathered in Wait Chapel for Wake Forest’s 48th annual Christmas Lovefeast and Candlelight Service.

University Chaplain Timothy Auman led the service, which included music by the Wake Forest Concert Choir, Flute Choir and Handbell Choir. A Moravian band and University organist Don Armitage also performed.

Volunteers served more than 100 dozen traditional Moravian sweet buns and 90 gallons of Moravian blend coffee, and each attendee received a traditional beeswax candle decorated with red paper bows.

More Lovefeast

As the final hymns were sung, the candles were lit and the Chapel darkened, except for a large Moravian Advent Star.

In keeping with the holiday tradition, Hearn Plaza was lined with luminaries and Wait Chapel was adorned with wreaths, candles, poinsettias and Christmas trees.

The Lovefeast has become one of the most anticipated holiday events on campus, encouraging the community to come together during what can be one of the most hectic times of the year.

“It is easy to get caught up in the busyness that is about to be Christmas,” Auman said. “The early Moravians on whose shoulders we stand tonight, believed that Christmas was not something to ‘get done’ or to ‘be organized’ but simply something to be received.”

Wake Forest’s first Lovefeast was organized in 1965. The European custom originated in 1747 and was introduced to North Carolina by early Moravian settlers at Bethabara in 1753.

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