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Wake Forest Lovefeast

The 51st Annual Celebration of a Moravian Tradition

Story by Wake Forest University December 10th, 2015

The 51st Annual Wake Forest Lovefeast, December 6, 2015

Moravian student Jane Sherrill Stroupe (’67) organized the first Wake Forest Lovefeast in December 1965. Two hundred students gathered to celebrate the traditional meal. Since then, the Wake Forest Lovefeast has grown to be the largest Moravian-style lovefeast in North America, and one of the favorite features of Wake Forest tradition.


Enjoy the photos below, and if you’re looking for even more photos, please see the full collection of galleries on Flickr. A video of the ceremony also is available. Explore the social buzz.

The gathering

Holiday decorations, music and the smell of sweet coffee fill Wait Chapel as more than 2,400 students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of the University gather to celebrate the 51st Annual Lovefeast.

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the service

University Chaplain Tim Auman is joined by associate chaplain Virginia Christman, student life administrators Mary Gerardy and Michael Ford, and divinity school graduate Emily Hull McGee for the Lovefeast service.

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the community

Students, faculty, staff, and alumni gather in Wait Chapel, and in homes across the world via live-streamed video, to light their candles, eat their Lovefeast buns, and drink sweet coffee.

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the dieners

More than 180 dozen traditional Moravian buns and 90 gallons of Moravian coffee are served to participants by dieners, German for “servers.” Malika Roman Isler gives the traditional Moravian blessing: “Come, Lord Jesus, our guest to be, and bless these gifts bestowed by Thee. Bless thy dear ones everywhere, and keep them in thy loving care.”

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the music

The Historic Bethabara Community Band, the Flute Choir, and the Concert Choir perform.

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the history

Jean Christman, left, wife of longtime Wake Forest chaplain Edgar D. Christman (’50, JD ‘53) (1929-2014), holds her lighted Lovefeast candle during the service.

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the light

Mary Dull and her friends in the Mary Ann Fogle Dorcas League hand made 4,100 beeswax candles for the service, with proceeds going to the Salemtowne Resident Financial Assistance Fund.
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the finale

Lovefeasts nourish the soul, give us pause and inspire. They transport us to sacred realms and add beauty to our often complicated lives. Wake Forest’s Annual Lovefeast can be captured in a single word – love.

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Footnote: Photographs by University Photographer Ken Bennett
Wait Chapel, Winston-Salem, NC, United States