Lovefeast: A unifying tradition

Christmas decorations, music, and the smell of sweet coffee filled Wait Chapel as more than 2,000 students, faculty, staff, alums and friends of the University gathered to celebrate the 49th annual Lovefeast on Dec. 8. The joyful service dates back to the 1700s.

In essentials, unity

When the Moravians settled in North Carolina in 1753, they brought the traditions of the lovefeast with them. A lovefeast is a service dedicated to Christian love that seeks to remove social barriers and encourage unity and respect.

In 1965, Moravian student Jane Sherrill Stroupe ’67 organized the first Wake Forest Lovefeast with 200 students. Almost 50 years later, the Wake Forest Lovefeast continues to be the largest Moravian-style lovefeast in North America and a favorite Wake Forest tradition.

University Chaplain, the Reverend Timothy L. Auman, led the call to worship with a reminder to delight in the music, magic and love of the season.

The Wake Forest community has many celebrated and cherished traditions, which have helped shape the culture and spirit of the University.

“In essentials, unity; in nonessentials, liberty; and in all things, love. ” Provost Rogan Kersh (’86) referenced the Moravian creed in his reflection. He explained how those words provide encouragement for Wake Forest students and the community.

Hearn Plaza Luminaries


Hearn Plaza was lined with luminaries provided by the Office of the President in recognition of Wake Forest University Trustees and in honor of students who annually donate more than 600 hours of service to the Winston-Salem Ronald McDonald House. »

“We strive to emphasize this point of unity at Wake Forest, the home of Pro Humanitate. No matter how smart, talented, educated or capable you students may be, it is through working with your colleagues, fellow students, faculty, staff and the greater Winston-Salem community that is the true key to success for personal and eventually professional fulfillment,” said Kersh.

Sixty-two “dieners,” a German word for “servers,” distributed 180 dozen traditional Moravian pastry buns (gluten free buns were available upon request) and nearly 100 gallons of creamed coffee.

During the simple meal, the Wake Forest Concert Choir sang. The Chapel darkened, except for a large illuminated Moravian Advent Star. One by one, each Moravian wax candle was lit and the chapel filled with light.

The 49th Lovefeast


  • 180 dozen traditional Moravian buns (gluten free buns were available)


  • 90 gallons of Moravian coffee


  • 2,500 trimmed Moravian candles


  • Evergreen garlands throughout Wait Chapel with two, 12-foot decorated trees

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