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“Every so often we get a minister who thinks this might be something we should change,” says church member Donald Myracle.

“He gets the message right away—this is the one thing you don’t change.” Brevard’s Love Feast includes traditional Christmas carols, prayers, a few Moravian hymns and an offering benefiting a local charity.

In 1737, John Wesley experienced a Love Feast while worshipping with Moravians in Savannah, Ga.

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The broader tradition of the “Love Feast”—worship or fellowship centered on a simple meal—has a solid Wesleyan heritage, as well as roots that hearken back to the early church.

And it’s a concept that many Christians would benefit from rediscovering, says Paul Stutzman, author of (Wipf & Stock, 2011).

By the third or fourth century, some Love Feasts were celebrated as communal, charitable meals which served meat—a rare treat for the poor.

By the time Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire, the practice of the Love Feast began to fade in the Western church, according to Mr. The modern history of the Love Feast dates to the 18th century, when the Moravians in Germany introduced a service of sharing food, prayer, religious conversation and hymns.

First UMC in Brevard is one of many United Methodist churches in North Carolina each Advent that celebrate the Love Feast, a popular tradition adopted from the Moravian church, which has a large number of congregations in North Carolina.

The state is also home to what is likely the largest Moravian-style Love Feast in the U.

S.—an ecumenical gathering at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N. Attendees imbibe 90 gallons of coffee and 175 dozen yeast buns, and the college’s Wait Chapel is aglow with 2,200 beeswax candles.

A simple meal But Love Feasts aren’t just for Christmas.

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.

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