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In 1965, the first Lovefeast at WFU was held; it was organized by a Moravian student and there were ~100 people in attendance.As you can tell, the Lovefeast has grown tremendously in the last 47 years, and it faces one challenge similar to that of early church Love Feasts in the 300s and 400s; namely, it is logistically difficult to provide food and drink to a large crowd!
As one who has only participated in Brethren Love Feasts, the experience at WFU was new to me. Yet what I can, I give him, give my heart.” This, for me, was when Advent really came alive this year, as I once again offered my heart to Jesus.To help me prepare for an upcoming presentation at the Brethren World Assembly this weekend, I created a brief survey on the Love Feast and publicized it on Facebook and through email to all 23 District Executives.I was surprised to see so many responses, after 4 days the total is 177! Paul Last night I attended Wake Forest University’s 47th annual Lovefeast, a Moravian-style Lovefeast that has become the largest Lovefeast celebration in North America.In a packed Wait Chapel, more than 2,000 people gathered for a service of song and a simple meal consisting of a sweetened bun and coffee (with plenty of milk and sugar).Following the Moravian Lovefeast tradition, this meal is not Holy Communion; the simple meal emphasizes hospitality and is shared by all, regardless of religious conviction.Personally, it was a powerful way for me to emotionally enter into the Advent season, even though I have been intellectually engaged with Advent (having just preached two Advent sermons). Two choral pieces (, brought tears to my eyes as I quietly sang along with the choir: “What can I give him, poor as I am? And it reminded me to be thankful for my experiences in the Herndon High School Madrigals ensemble, for I had to memorize that song for our many community Christmas performances (thank you Mrs. For those who are interested, here is a copy of the Lovefeast bulletin. (choir, then repeated by congregation) Jesus mine, in me shine, (choir, congregation) In me shine, Jesus mine; (choir, congregation) Fill my heart with light divine.
Musical Prelude for Carillon, Brass & Harp Welcome: University Chaplain Rev. Bob Mc Gee Come, Lord Jesus, our guest to be And bless these gifts bestowed by Thee Bless thy dear ones everywhere And keep them in thy loving care. Partaking of the Lovefeast: University Concert Choir, conducted by Dr. (unison) Morning Star, Thy glory bright Far excels the sun’s clear light; Jesus be, constantly, Constantly, Jesus be More than thousand suns to me.
Tim Auman Lighting of Advent Candle: Organ Prelude by University Organist Dr. Thy glad beams, Thou Morning Star Cheer the nations near and far; Thee we own, Lord alone, Lord alone, Thee we own, Our great Savior, God’s dear Son.
At the conclusion of the service, electrical lights are turned off and the dark chapel is gradually lit by candlelight passed from the central Advent candles to those held by each person present.
(Click here for a video of the 2011 Lovefeast) The first Moravian Lovefeast was celebrated in Herrnhut ( Saxony) on August 13, 1727.
The Moravians emigrated to the New World in 1735, and in 1737 John Wesley observed a Moravian Lovefeast in Savannah, Georgia, and was inspired to begin a similar celebration in the Methodist movement the following year.
The first Moravian Lovefeast in North Carolina was celebrated on November 17, 1753, when a group of 15 Moravians established a temporary settlement at Bethabra, located 2 miles from WFU.