The Birthday of the Moravian Church
The signing of the “Covenant for Christian Living” by our ancestors on May 12, 1727, brought great blessing to the 300 refugees living on the estate of Count Zinzendorf in Saxony. The first communion service of the united community after May 12 was held on August 13 at the village church in Berthelsdorf. So great was the blessing felt during this communion and so great and lasting was its influence that it has been called the Birthday of the Renewed Moravian Church. The “Covenant for Christian Living” continues to serve as a guide for our life together.
It was also on this memorable day in 1727 that the custom of the lovefeast in the Moravian Church had its beginning. Having returned home to Herrnhut after the communion, the villagers gathered in small groups, continuing to talk over the great blessing they had received. After noon, Zinzendorf had food sent to each of them from his home and they ate, prayed, talked, and sang together, probably in seven different homes. The resemblance of this incident to the ancient Agape of the first century Christians prompted Zinzendorf and others to promote the idea. Thus, the lovefeast, a simple meal shared in the church in a spirit of fellowship and love, became a custom in the life of the Moravians.