Celebrate Independence Day with a Lovefeast
Sunday, July 3, 2016 at 10:30 AM (There is no 8 AM service on July 3rd)
Since the Bicentennial in 1976, Lititz Moravians have celebrated the Nation’s birthday with a special Lovefeast on the Sunday before the holiday; this year that is July 3rd at 10:30 a.m. The service will be held in the Congregation’s 229-year-old sanctuary on Church Square on East Main Street.
Pastor Mark Breland, who is the preacher that day, invites all in the community to participate in this service of Thanksgiving when stirring music and prayerful liturgy recount the blessings and challenges of freedom.
Director of Music Ministries, Dr. Jeff Gemmell, has enlisted an orchestra to enhance the special festive music of the day. He shares that the Senior Choir will singsome distinctive anthems for this service, including an anthem by Moravian Bishop Peter Wolle, composed for the first July 4th illumination of Lititz Springs in 1843. The anthem is “Come Joyful Hallelujahs Raise,” written during Wolle’s pastorate in Lititz. Another anthem by a former Lititz Moravian pastor, Johannes Herbst, will be sung by the Senior Choir: “Praise the Lord.” Also being sung is a Moravian anthem composed for the first Independence Day Celebration, held in Salem, North Carolina in 1783: “Freudenpsalm” by J. F. Peter.
The lovefeast service is a shared simple meal of a sweet bun and coffee or chocolate milk, served to the congregation while songs and hymns selected for the special occasion are sung. Then, while the simple meal is shared as an expression of our bond of love in Christ with each other, the Senior Choir sings the anthems which convey the day’s festive message.
Prior to the service, the Congregation’s Trombone Choir will be playing on Church Square. Flanking the old church is the 1759 Brothers’ House that General Washington commandeered as a military hospital during the Revolutionary War, and the 1758 Single Sisters’ House, both historic Lititz sites.
“Moravians were religious refugees in Europe and have always celebrated their freedom in America!” says Pastor Dean Jurgen. “That’s probably the reason Lititz has one of the longest continuous 4th of July celebrations in the Nation.”
Pastor Mark Breland, says, “We welcome visitors to the Independence Day Lovefeast. It’s a wonderful opportunity to celebrate our unity as a community. Everyone is always welcome to attend this service that is such a part of our history and tradition.”
Childcare will be available in the nursery located in the Christian Education Building, located next door to the church.