Annual Christmas lovefeast to be held at WFU

Participants with candles at Christmas lovefeastWake Forest University will hold its 37th traditional Christmas lovefeast and candlelight service at 8 p.m. Dec. 8 in Wait Chapel. The public is invited to the free event.

Wake Forest graduate Betsy Bombick, a member of the Provincial Elders Conference of the Moravian Church, will assist Wake Forest Chaplain Ed Christman in conducting the service.

The Christmas lovefeast and candlelight service is a custom that originated in Europe in 1747. The first lovefeast in North Carolina was held on the evening of the arrival of the Moravians at Bethabara in 1753. Wake Forest began holding an annual Christmas lovefeast on campus in 1965. The event was organized by a student with the help of the Wake Forest Chaplain’s office.

Luminaries placed by members of the university’s Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity will encircle University Plaza. Inside the chapel, each person will receive a beeswax candle to be lit at the end of the service. More than 50 students and faculty will serve coffee and Moravian buns.

The Wake Forest Concert Choir, conducted by director of choral ensembles Brian Gorelick, will lead the congregation in singing traditional carols and the Moravian song, “Morning Star.”

Wake Forest Baptist Church organist Jean T. Blackwood will play the organ during the service. The university’s handbell choir and flute choir will also perform. Guest musician Kim Christman will perform on hammer dulcimer and guest guitarist Stan Dotson will perform.

The Messiah Moravian Church Band and carilloneur Matthew Webb, a Wake Forest senior, will provide music before and after the service.

The Catholic Campus Ministry at Wake Forest will place collection boxes for donated blue jeans beside the chapel entrance. The clothing will be given to the people of Alajuelita, Costa Rica. Those attending the service may also make monetary contributions to Prodigals Community and Samaritan Ministries. The Christmas lovefeast is sponsored by the Wake Forest Chaplain’s office. For more information, call 336-758-5210.

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