The Moravian Lovefeast
Since the early Christians met and broke bread together in token of their fellowship and love, the Moravian Church has established a custom of celebrating certain occasions of deep spiritual significance by partaking together of a simple meal known as a lovefeast.
The Christmas Eve Lovefeast, with its lighted candles, is one of the most beautiful services of the Moravian Church. The custom originated on the continent of Europe at the Marienborn castle of Count Nicholas von Zinzendorf, at Watteravia, Germany, in 1747. Begun first as a childrens service, the custom soon became meaningful to the entire church family and spread to Moravian congregations throughout the world. In North Carolina, the first Christmas Eve Lovefeast was held at Bethabara in 1753 and in Salem in 1771. The practice of using the decorated Moravian Candle and the Lovefeast has since spread to other churches and denominations.