After the leftovers have been devoured and the Thanksgiving crowd has departed, do you crave something a little less hectic and a little more calming? Would you like to start your holidays in a reflective, reverential way to counteract the insanity and break-neck pace that the season inevitably brings?
If the idea of slowing down, even for just one evening appeals to you, why not grab the family and join a traditional Moravian Love Feast? On Sunday at 5 p.m., Fuquay-Varina United Methodist Church will host this special service filled with Christmas carols, sweet buns and wassail.
If you’re wondering how a Moravian tradition found its way into a Methodist church, you have to go way back for the answer. The first love feast in Wachovia (the region now known as Winston-Salem) was held Nov. 17, 1753 on the evening of the arrival of the first Moravian colonists in North Carolina. John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, took part in a Moravian Love Feast in 1783 and introduced it to his fellow Methodists the following year.
The traditional Moravian Love Feast celebrates the birth of Christ through scripture reading and prayer, the singing of hymns, the lighting of candles and the serving of Moravian bread and coffee. Those who serve the meal are called dieners (German for servers), who don traditional garb while serving and following a traditional order of service. Everyone is instructed to wait until all have been served. The pastor then asks the blessing and participants feast together.
“I think this is a great opportunity for us to celebrate as a community,” says Susan Smith, this year’s Love Feast coordinator at FVUMC. “Transitioning from Thanksgiving to celebrating Christ’s birth is perfect timing for a Love Feast.”
If you would like more information about this event, please call the church office at 919-552-4331 or check out details on their website at www.fvumc.org. Bring a new focus and purpose to the holidays; consider starting a new family tradition this year with roots more than 200 years old.