Moravian cup of covenant

Happy Moravian feast of the servants of God!

Thanks to one of my students, this week I was introduced to the Moravian church’s custom of sharing “The cup of covenant.” According to the Moravian Archives newsletter, September 16 is a traditional day for its celebration. Here is a 2008 article on this tradition:

In the Moravian liturgical tradition the cup of covenant is not to be confused with Holy Communion, although terminology and form remind us of Communion. Whereas the cup that is shared during the celebration of the Lord’s Supper is based on the cup that Jesus took after the meal, the cup of covenant goes back to the cup that was shared by Jesus and the disciples at the beginning of the Passover meal (Luke 22:17). The cup of covenant is not a sacrament, such as Baptism and Holy Communion, but a sign of the renewed commitment to service of those who partake in it.

Interested in the origin of the Moravian church? Until this week I knew little of it between John Hus and John Wesley. Here’s Wikipedia with more.

One comment

  1. The Wikipedia link led me to discover that the Moravians revived the agape as a lovefeast with some interesting practices:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lovefeast
    http://www.moravian.org/faq/lovefeast.phtml

    “The holding of lovefeasts, has come to be one of the outstanding customs of the Moravian Church. Members of other denominations are attracted to Moravian lovefeasts in large numbers.”

    “Traditionally for European, Canadian, and American Lovefeasts, a sweetened bun and coffee (sweetened milky tea in Germany, Holland and England) is served to the congregation in the pews by dieners (from the German for servers); before partaking, a simple table grace is said.”

    “The Moravian Lovefeast also concentrates on the singing of hymns, and listening to music which may come from the organ or choir. The songs and hymns chosen usually describe love and harmony. The congregation can also talk quietly with their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ about their spiritual walk with God. Christmas Eve lovefeasts can become particularly spectacular in the congregation’s choice of music and instrumentation. Many churches also have trombone choirs or church bands play prior to a lovefeast as a call to service.”

    Today sometimes churches have ecumenical choir gatherings, and jointly sponsor soup kitchens, homeless shelters, etc.

    The Moravian lovefeast offers an interesting ecumenical model for a joint choral event, fundraiser, and opportunity for fellowship.

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