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Grace Lutheran to celebrate Lovefeast

Published 8:39pm Friday, December 14, 2012

Grace Lutheran Church will celebrate Christmas with a Christmas Lovefeast Sunday afternoon.

A lovefeast is a Moravian tradition the church adopted four years ago. Bonnie Smith, a member of Grace Lutheran, said the feast would be a time of worship and reflection and include plenty of familiar Christmas hymns.

During the lovefeast, dieners (which is German for “servant”) serve lightly-sweetened buns and coffee.

“One of the highlights of the service is the distribution of fragrant beeswax candles trimmed with a red ruff, symbolizing Christ’s blood, shed for the salvation of the world,” Smith said.

As the service ends, everyone is invited to raise the candles as a symbol of sharing the “Light of the World,” Jesus Christ.

The Moravian Church has a close association with the Lutheran Church through Count Nicholas Ludwig Graf von Zinzendorf, a Lutheran bishop who in 1722 provided refuge to the Moravians as they were fleeing religious persecution in their homeland of Moravia, Smith said.

Today, the Moravian Church is often associated with the restored Moravian village of Old Salem, in Winston-Salem.

“The Lovefeast commemorates that history and emphasizes the unity and fellowship, which exist between Christian believers,” Smith said.

The public is cordially invited to attend. Grace Lutheran Church is located at 1776 North Market Street in Washington. For more information, call 975-1988.

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