Moravian Love Feast in Wake
were followers of a fifteenth century Czech priest/reformer, John Hus, who was
burned at the stake in 1415 for
disobeying the Catholic Church and preaching
his sermons in the local Bavarian dialect. Almost wiped out by persecution during the Thirty Years War
(1618-1648), a small band of Moravians found refuge
in Saxony (East Germany) where a rich landowner, Count von Zinzendorf, a Lutheran, gave the
some land to farm on his estate.
The members of the Moravian
Church made it their custom to celebrate special occasions by sharing with
friends a simple meal, a "Love Feast." The name of the service is a literal
translation of the New Testament word "agape."
It is reminiscent of
the "agape meal" shared by the early Christians as recorded in Acts 2 of the
The first Love Feast was served in
Germany on August 13th, 1727, following the Renewal of the Moravian Church.
The first Love Feast in the United States (the region now known as
Winston-Salem) was held in Wachovia November 17, 1753, on the evening of the
arrival of the first Moravian colonists in North Carolina. 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.Formal
Moravian Love Feasts are celebrated several times a year,
depending on the community, and the same traditional recipes are used in
preparing the buns and cakes used in the services that were used over two
hundred years ago.
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 pk dry yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm water
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 TB orange rind
1 TB lemon rind
1/2 cup mashed regular or sweet potatoes
4 - 5 cups flour
butter for greasing bowl and cookie sheet,
and for top of rolls
- Pour scalded milk over butter. salt,
and sugar in a large bowl. Cool
- Dissolve yeast in lukewarm water
(about 5 minutes).
- Add yeast mixture, eggs, nutmeg,
rinds, and mashed
potatoes to cooled milk mixture.
Slowly add enough floor to make a soft, easily handled dough.
- Turn dough out
on a floured board
and knead until it is soft and elastic.
- Place in a greased bowl, cover with
a towel, and put in a warm place to rise until doubled (about 2 hours).
Punch down, cover with towel, and put in a warm place to rise again until
doubled (about 1-1/2 hours)
- Break off 3" ball of dough.
into buns. Place on greased cookie sheet and let rise again until doubled
(about 1-1/2 hours) .
- Preheat oven to 375º F.
- Bake for 25 - 30 minutes. When buns
begin to turn golden, brush buns with melted butter and continue baking.