Wake Forest University will hold this year’s Lovefeast ceremony virtually on Dec. 6, beginning with a prelude at 5:45 p.m. with a service to follow.
Coronavirus safety protocols prevent people from gathering inside Wait Chapel for the event that celebrates the unique traditions of the Moravian community in Winston-Salem and has become a staple on Wake Forest’s campus. Nonetheless, Wake Forest officials have gone out of their way to make this year’s Lovefeast service memorable.
Instead of luminaries encircling Hearn Plaza, a pillar of light will illuminate the sky over the Chapel from 5-8 p.m., sharing the light of Lovefeast with the Winston-Salem community and reminding Wake Forest alumni, parents and friends that their collective light still shines on campus.
Wake Forest Chaplain Timothy Auman said given how tumultuous 2020 has been, it was very important for the University to find a way to still hold Lovefeast even though it could not be an in-person, on-campus event.
“In the midst of finding stability in our post-election world, in the hectic rush to prepare for a socially distanced Christmas and New Year, we will gather once again as a campus community to remind one another that there is love in the world,” Auman said.
Lovefeast is a candlelight service dedicated to Christian love that seeks to remove social barriers while encouraging reverence and respect for the legitimate rights of all people. Moravian student Jane Sherrill Stroupe, a 1967 Wake Forest graduate, organized the first Wake Forest Lovefeast in December 1965, when 200 students gathered to celebrate the traditional meal of a sweetened bun and creamed coffee. Since then, the Wake Forest Lovefeast has become one of the biggest lovefeasts in North America and one of the University’s most cherished traditions for more than 50 years.
The Chaplain’s Office and Student Government distributed several thousand beeswax candles to students before they departed campus for the semester, so they could participate from home.
This year’s virtual, pre-recorded event means a larger audience can enjoy Lovefeast from the safety of their own homes while eating a bread of their choice during that part of the ceremony. The video link for the event will be shared on the Lovefeast website on the day of the event. A crowdfunding page for the Chaplain’s Emergency Fund is replacing donation baskets typically available as people exit Wait Chapel.
The Chaplain’s Emergency Fund was created to help Wake Forest faculty, staff, students and employees of outside contracted groups in times of temporary, emergency financial hardship. Donations will be accepted until Dec. 10, with a goal of 2,250 donors to match the capacity of Wait Chapel.
Members of the media who want to interview Wake Forest Chaplain Timothy Auman can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.