Monday, December 26, 2011

Moravian Christmas Eve Candlelight Service

So...it is the morning after Christmas 2011.
We had a truly delightful day.
Everyone came into church with 
energy and joy.
Our service was filled to the brim with 
music and scripture.
Loved it!!

But the festivities began the night
before for our little family.

You see, 
Warren's maternal heritage is Moravian.
His Grandpa Howard and Grandma Charlotte
were fully involved in the Moravian Church 
in York.  
This meant that Warren's mom, Georgia,
was raised in the Moravian tradition, as well.

One of the most important days of the year
was Christmas Eve.
The candlelight service is amazingly special 
and something that I came to love when 
I joined the family.

Then in the years since Grandma Charlotte
passed on and we always had a 
Christmas Eve Service of our own
we had not gone.
However, since Christmas fell on a Sunday
Pastor Mike decided to move our service
to Christmas Day and we were free to  make
the trek to York.

After a nice dinner together at Outback
Steakhouse we made our way to the church
in the heart of the city of York.

Immediately Georgia found folks from 
her past.  They delighted to see each other.
And then we made our way upstairs to the 
beautiful sanctuary.


Elaine, the long time organist,
was bringing forth amazing music
from the vintage pipe organ.
As you know they have an amazing sound.




The service began and was pleasantly
familiar.  From the songs sung to 
the serving of love feast.








A special cinnamon bun and coffee.
Celebrating the unity of believers as history
tells of two groups of Moravians who had a 
dispute.  They decided one day to work through
it and once resolved they stayed to eat together
thus sealing the resolution and enjoying 
each others company once again.

My favorite song in the service is called
Morning Star. 
The song is sung antiphonally with 
a child or children
leading the congregation.
Sigh......
so...sooo.....beautiful.

I am going to attempt to get the music
and teach it to our congregation for 
Christmas Eve 2012.

A traditional Moravian
Christmas Tree.
Decorated with musical instruments,
dried fruit and beeswax candles.


The beeswax candles are very important to the 
tradition.  Each year the people of the church 
get together to wrap the tissue paper 
decoration at the base of the candle.
This serves as protection from the dripping 
wax as well as looking stunning.


This was the house across the street from the 
parking lot there in York.

 
We just thought it was so pretty.

I hope your Christmas was special.
Full of Joy.
Oh! And by the way....
the bottom half of the tree has been 
relieved of its gingerbread men.
That's how far the dogs can reach...
so they did.  
While we were in York.
Apparently the boys downstairs were
not paying any attention
so they got away with it.

Silly dogs.

9 comments:

jAne said...

just beautiful. :o)

Mrs.Rabe said...

Lovely!

As to Bandit and Chloe...naughty doggies. I hope they didn't get upset tummies...

Deanna

ZudaGay said...

Ever since I read Liz Curtis Higgs book Bookends some years ago, I have wanted to attend a Moravian service...especially a Christmas Eve service! It looks and sounds just beautiful!! Those silly puppies...they are going to be searing for gingerbread cookies for weeks after they are gone wondering where their special treats have gone. :)

Carol said...

What a beautiful church!

Smiles,
Carol

Vee said...

Oh that church service must have been beautiful...the sanctuary itself certainly is. Thank you for explaining your experience...very different and yet familiar. Sorry about the gingerbread and the dogs...hope that they didn't get ill.

Barb~Bella Vista said...

Beautiful pictures, Becky. So glad you had a lovely holiday. Can you believe it has come and gone? Yikes.

Happy New Year!!

Buttercup said...

Thank you for sharing this beautiful service and sanctuary.

Vickie said...

AND silly boys! Well, I guess that was Christmas for the pups - Gingerbread cookies! Now, the dogs will hav something to look forward to for Christmas 2012!

Beautiful service, Becky, and beautiful church. I'm not familiar with the Moravian church and it's traditions. Never even heard of it! I'm glad you explained it to us - it IS lovely! Have a wonderful week, my friend!

ღ soraya ღ said...

Nice post thanks for sharing..blessings from our home to yours...soraya