December 11, 2022, Moravian Love Feast

Sunday, December 11, 2022

So What Exactly is a Love Feast?

The Love Feast is an ancient observance, dating from the early days of the Christian Church. You may find it mentioned in Acts, Chapter 2. It is a simple meal of the faithful in a service of worship.

Love Feasts are a cherished tradition of the Moravian Church. Sparked by the dissent of a priest, Jan Hus, who was burned at the stake over a century before Martin Luther nailed up his Ninety-Five Theses, Unitas Fratrum, as they were known, were nearly stomped out in two centuries of war and persecution.

A Lutheran nobleman, Count Nicholas von Zinzendorf, invited the struggling group to his estate in Germany, and they founded a community at Herrnhut. Five years later, on August 13, 1727, the believers came together to share in the sacrament of Holy Communion. For some time before this occasion the attitude in the community had been anything but one of brotherhood. Only through intense prayer and the working of the Holy Spirit did a revival take place in the hearts of the people. August 13 was to be a celebration for this renewed bond of love. Seven groups gathered and continued to sing hymns and pray together. As the experience became prolonged, Count Zinzendorf sent food and they broke bread together. It was truly a feast of love.

Moravians have always valued music highly, both in worship and at home. It is natural that music became an integral element of Love Feasts.

The Moravian Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America established full- communion ties in 1999, affirming their kinship in Christ. Christ Our Shepherd has offered Love Feasts since 2003.

During this service there are appointed times to eat a bun with coffee, and to light a beeswax candle. Please wait to partake in the buns and drinks until all are served and the blessing is offered. If you choose to participate at home, you may use what you have available.