Winter Tea Party winners: Angela's book,THE SCARLET COAT, will go to: Print copy- Andrea Stephens; e-book copy - Catherine Wight!

LUCY REYNOLDS has a table topper quilt on the way, and winners of the Valentine Ebook Collection are: Deanna Stevens, Caryl Kane, Anne Payne and Winnie Thomas. With thanks to all who joined in!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Moravian Christmas by Denise Weimer


Perhaps you’re unaware that many of your church Christmas traditions can be traced to the Moravians, Czech Protestants who split from the Roman Catholic Church 60 years before Martin Luther posted his thesis in 1517. These traditions came to the Colonies in the 1700s, spreading along the Eastern Seaboard. Moravian churches still exist today and practice these beautiful traditions, and if you’re near North Carolina, you might enjoy a visit to the historic Moravian village of Old Salem during the holiday season.


Putz – The Gospel demonstrated in miniature from Isaiah’s prophecy of Jesus’ birth
through the flight of Jesus’ parents to Egypt and the visit of the wise men, using figurines, moss, pine cones, drift wood stones, houses and animals. In this traditional home or church display used to teach children, the manger scene becomes the focal point.

Moravian Star – First believed to have been created as a geometry project for boys in an 1850 German boarding school, the 26-point, illuminated paper stars were soon sold and shipped to the U.S. Paper stars became plastic and tiny whale oil lamps or candles became small bulbs. Today, Moravians display this star on their porches or in their windows from the first Sunday of Advent through Epiphany (January 6).

Candle Tea – Arts and crafts fair started by early Moravians. Today, hostesses at these early December events often dress in the costume of mid-1700s women, with the ribbons on their caps denoting their marital status. Guests enjoy sugar cake and Moravian coffee while watching the making of beeswax candles, tinware and stars.



Lovefeast/Vigil – Styled after the common meal Christians partook as described in the book of Acts. The vigil began in Germany when Bishop John de Watterville provided children candles wrapped with bands to
remind them of Christ’s birth, passion and wounds, using beeswax candles to illustrate the purity of Christ. The band became a red paper frill to catch the drippings. At modern lovefeasts, participants enjoy Moravian coffee and buns, sing carols and end with what has become the traditional candlelight service, taking the light of Christ out into the dark world.

Merry Christmas from Colonial Quills bloggers!!!

Post by Denise Weimer



12 comments:

  1. Great post Denise. I love learning these bits of history.
    Merry Christmas!
    Blessings, Tina

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  2. Thanks for the interesting tidbits. :) Merry Christmas!

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  3. Thanks for a great post. Merry Christmas!

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  5. Thank you for this lovely post. My daughter, granddaughter, brother, sister-in-law, and I recently attended the Moravian Candle Tea in Old Salem, NC. It's one of our favorite traditions based on many childhood memories. We bought a dozen love feast candles--just as in your photograph--and lit them to end our Christmas Carol Sing in Virginia this past Saturday. We also bought Moravian sugar cake from Winkler Bakery in Old Salem and have it tucked in the freezer, waiting for Christmas morning brunch. But, try as I might, I've never successfully replicated that wonderful Moravian coffee--sweet and brewed in milk.

    I spent many of my growing up years in Winston-Salem, NC. At Christmas many, many houses hang the beautiful Moravian Star from porches. Southerners still say that everyone in Winston-Salem becomes a Moravian for Christmas. ; )

    Thank you for bringing back so many wonderful memories! Merry Christmas and God's blessings for the new year!

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    1. Cathy, I am so glad you were blessed by this post by Denise Weimer! And so thrilled you got to travel and God is bringing healing and joy to you. Between you, Denise, and Jennifer I want to put this on my schedule for an upcoming Christmas. Praying you have a Merry Christmas and blessed New Year!

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    2. Cathy, what a lovely post! I'm sorry I didn't see this right away. Thank you for sharing.

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  6. Lovely post, Denise! Between you, Jennifer Hudson Taylor, and Cathy Gohlke now I really want to go visit there at Christmastime! Have a Merry Christmas and we're so glad to have you at CQ!!!

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    1. Thank you, Carrie! Apparently a lot of us Colonial history buffs love the sweet simplicity of Moravian Christmas traditions!

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  7. A lovely post, Denise. I love learning about the variety of Christmas traditions celebrated around the world.

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  8. Love the information in this great article, Denise. Merry Christmas!

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