The Central Moravian church is located in Bethlehem, PA, a town that has dubbed itself "Christmas City." (Unfortunately the church I refer to in this post has no interior photos available.)
For the past five or six years, my family has gone to a Christmas Eve service at the nearly 200-year-old Moravian church in my home town in Pennsylvania. While we're not Moravian — and I'm not especially religious — I love the simple way the inside of the building is decorated and the feeling it inspires.
Inside, the church is almost entirely white and has high ceilings and tall windows. The main decorations are a large illuminated 26-point star (technically a "Great Stellated Rhombicuboctahedron") and, below it, a giant tree covered in smaller origami stars. Otherwise, there are a few unadorned live wreaths. The emphasis is on music and lighting, with lit beeswax candles distributed at the end when the room is otherwise dark. Overall, the interior feels clean, peaceful, and welcoming — the main things I strive for in my own home year-round.
While shiny metallic trees have their allure, pared-down decorating wins me over with its emphasis on lighting, natural materials, and two or three colors max. I'm also on board with the Moravian emphasis on handmade decoration: the congregation at the church in my town makes and trims its own beeswax candles, and the city in Germany founded by the group is famous for its handmade stars.
For more background on Moravian stars, check out Anna's thorough retrospect. To see them being made in Germany, look to Time magazine, or follow these directions to fold your own star.
Herrnhuter Sterne (in Germany)
Etsy seller Starcrosses
Handmade beeswax tapers
Images: 1. Galen Frysinger 2. City-data.com 3. Shanna Murray 4. Etsy seller Starcrosses 5. Etsy seller Vakvar