Sunday, April 10, 2011

What's a Moravian?

I am!

OK, first let me start by saying that I have not attended church regularly since I was in high school. So, one could say I am "lapsed."

I'm not trying to pretend I am more churchy than I am. But, I was raised in the Moravian faith at Covenant Moravian Church in Wilmington, North Carolina. Our church was, and still is, a pretty small church, and there are not many Moravians in the world. When I tell people I am "Moravian," they normally think I said "Mormon," or they wonder why they have never heard of the country of Moravia before. It's part of the Czech Republic, nowadays, see? 

Even though I would not say that Mr. Magic and I are really religious, well, we did need someone to marry us, and I do identify pretty strongly with the Moravian faith, even if I am a lapsed member. Here's why!

1. Moravians are, in most scholars opinion, the oldest Protestant religion. They joined and started doing their thang about 100 years before Martin Luther came along. They broke away from Rome and the Catholics, because they thought individuals could have a "justification by grace through faith alone," or rather, they didn't need a middle man to help/interfere with their relationship with God. Also, they thought indulgences were whack. I also agree that everyone should and can have their own personal relationship with God, so I'm down with the beginnings of the Moravian church.

2. The Moravian motto is "In essentials unity; in non-essentials, liberty; and in all things love." Simple, to the point, dunzo. That basically means that all Moravians have to believe in the big things, like God and Jesus Christ and the Bible, but each Moravian has the freedom to make up their mind about other things, like how to worship. And, we're all about loving everyone and super into diversity! Yay! I can't be down with a church who is not open minded and willing to change with the times.

3. The Spirit of the Moravian Church. There are a few things that are really important to Moravians, and these things are also really important to me!
a. Simplicity - They say focus on the big picture, like God is good, and don't worry so much about the details. They are also into genuineness and practicality. Sounds good to me.
b. Happiness - sounds good, check!
c. Unintrusiveness - We realize others have different but equally awesome religions, and we aren't trying to steal you away from your beliefs.
d. Fellowship - Hanging out with kindred spirits is fun!
e. The ideal of service - Helping others is a good thing.

4. Moravian Culture. Moravians have a Candle Tea once a year, where we open up the church to the community, so folks can come and learn about our history and sample our awesome wares! We dress up like old timey Moravians, see?
This is my brother and I, aren't we so cute? I'm guessing this is, like, 1987. Fun fact: back in the day, Moravian girls and women wore a certain colored ribbon on their cap based on their age or marital status. Little girls wear red, unmarried women wear pink, married women wear blue, and widows wear white.

Then we show people how to make Moravian stars....
Image from Moravian Stars

Bake them some fresh Moravian Cookies... 
Image from Dewey's
I like Spice cookies the best, then Sugar. Anything else (lemon, chocolate, etc.) is not what I grew up on, and therefore too newfangled for my tastes!

Feed them some Moravian Sugar Cake... 
Image from Dewey's
It's so yummy and addictive.

Then we show them our beeswax candles, that of course we made ourselves, because we are so crafty like that!
Image from The Scriptorium 

And finally, let them try some of our delicious Spiced Tea! 
Image from Tea Kettle 

Yum, no?

In short, Moravians are pretty chill and diverse, into loving others, and also into eating, drinking, and lighting things like stars and candles up. So, the pastor from my childhood church is going to marry us. Hooray!

How did you decide who would perform your ceremony?


  1. Why have I never heard of this? Sounds like you can incorporate some awesome traditions in your wedding!

  2. Pastor Foltz? Or the new pastor?
    I also like spice cookies the best, then sugar :)

  3. @Kristin...we are a rare people, lol! Moravians are also into brewing beer, or so my Dad tells me, but I couldn't find any proof of that in a two second google search....

    @Lauri, Pastor Tracy! We are just getting to know her now. She's great!

  4. I love the stars! How pretty would those be hanging over you at your ceremony site! Maybe you could give out the cookies as your favors?

    It was pretty straight forward choice for us since we do go to a small church and know our pastor well; he's doing our service :)