WATCH VIDEO: Little Girl Dances to Moravian Trombone Choir Carols

Candles slowly dripped wax, their flames illuminating faces and song sheets in the unusually warm December air, while voices joined with vibrant tones of brass instruments on Church Square in Lititz Thursday night during the Annual Carol Sing.

The Moravian Trombone Choir, a musical mainstay of the church whose roots extend beyond the founding of Lititz, stood on the porch of the Moravian Archives & Museum and performed a selection of hymns and Christmas carols as attendees sang along.

While the focus was on community vocal participation, four-year-old Alina Gregory had clearly come to dance. As adults sang, she turned, kicked, and hopped, spontaneously choreographing in the space between musicians and singers that had become her stage.


Deb Gregory, who grew up in Lititz and worked at Linden Hall, brought Alina and her little sister to the event from out of state, meeting up with her own sister Kathy Robinson to enjoy the evening festivities.

“We live in Ohio now, and I was really excited to bring my daughters back here to experience a Lititz Christmas,” said Gregory. “We had so much fun tonight.”

The choir even took requests during the performance. Afterwards, the Moravian Church swung open the doors and invited singers in to warm themselves by a roaring fire, enjoy refreshments in the Fellowship Hall, and visit the Moravian Putz (pronounced pootz).

For some, the free event hosted by the Lititz Historical Foundation in conjunction with the Moravian Archives & Museum was a first-time experience.

Theresa Ratcliffe, a mother of seven from Lebanon County, learned of the Carol Sing during a recent tour to the Johannes Mueller house across the street, where tonight from 5-9 p.m. a free candle-lit tour by costumed docents will take place.

“I was talking about it for days afterwards,” said Ratcliffe, who found the tour of the historic home featuring early artifacts “very interesting.”

“I wanted to come back and bring family,” said Ratcliffe, surrounded by some of her seven children, her Lititz-based sister, and 6-month old granddaughter, Indigo. “We wouldn’t miss out on Christmas caroling,” she said.

Ratcliffe and her family wound their way downstairs to the basement, and entered the already-darkened room where the putz was on display, settling into chairs on the risers and watching the story of the proclamation and birth of Jesus Christ unfold on the Moravian moss-covered recreation of the holy land, complete with figures representing the Holy Family, stars, shepherds, angels, and kings.

After the presentation, which featured narration, music, and lights, children and adults alike were allowed to view the lit display up close. Some reached out to touch it.

“It looks like it’s made out of candy,” said Emma Barry, 4. Friends Warren West, 3, and Drew Walker, 4, silently studied the scene from a few different angles.

RELATED: What is a Moravian Putz, and What Does it Have to Do with Christmas?

The Moravian Putz, which will remain on display throughout the holidays, will be available for scheduled showings. For more information, call the church at (717) 626-8515 and visit the Lititz Historical Foundation Facebook page.