Paradisian publications







Agape Love Feast

 

agape

ah-gah-pey
1.
the love of God or Christ for humankind.
2.
the love of Christians for other persons, corresponding to the love of God for humankind.
3.
unselfish love of one person for another without sexual implications; brotherly love.
4.
love feast (defs 1, 2).

Origin
First recorded in 1600-10, agape is from the Greek word agápē ‘love’

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.


Origin and Etymology of agape

Borrowed from Late Latin agapē, borrowed from Greek agápē "brotherly love,"
back-formation from
agapân "to regard with affection, be fond of, be contented (with)"
or
agapázein "to welcome warmly," perhaps from a base *aga-pā- "lavish protection,
attention or affection (on)," literally, "protect greatly," going back to Indo-European
*m̥ǵh2- "large, great" + *peh2- "protect"

 — Merriam Webster Dictionary




A
dominant part of early Christian worship
that few Christians would think of today
is that it centered around a meal.
 



The early Christians referred to this meal as the agape. The pre-Nicene Church, or before the
Council of Nicaea, also called First Council of Nicaea, (325 A.D.), continued to practice the agape or love feast. Within a century or so after Constantine’s conversion, this important part of apostolic worship totally disappeared.


The Council of Laodicea of about 363–64 forbade the use of churches for celebrating the agape or love feast.[5]



The priestcraft ceremony of the transubstantiation of bread and wine was the only worship allowed after 363-364 A.D. in the new state sponsored Christian religion that Constantine founded.


The original communion of St. John, the Apostles and the early Christians was a daily mealtime love feast of fruits, vegetables, freshly pressed grape juice, St. John's bread or carob bread and cultured milk like cheese and yogurt.



THE HARMLESS MEAL

According to Wikipedia:
'Pliny the Younger to Trajan,[3] in which he reported that the Christians, after having met "on a stated day" in the early morning to "address a form of prayer to Christ, as to a divinity", later in the day would "reassemble, to eat in common a harmless meal".[2] a



A harmless meal would imply a vegetarian meal that harms no one including animals. St. Francis reinstated the harmless meal advocating a vegetarian diet for his order.



THE AGAPE LOVE FEAST IS STILL PRACTICED TODAY

Wikipedia mentions that agape is still practiced to this day:

"At the end of the 18th century the
 
Carmelite friar Paolino da San Bartolomeo reported that the ancient Saint Thomas Christians of India still celebrated their agapae or love-feasts, using their typical dish called appam.[6][7] (Appam is a chapati like bread made rom fermented rice flour and coconut milk.) In addition, Pietist groups originating in the eighteenth-century, such as the Schwarzenau Brethren and the Moravian Church, celebrate the Love feast. Methodist Churches also continue the practice.[8]"'



The United Methodist Church practices the love feast to this day because John Wesley, the founding father of the Methodists, instituted it in Methodism.


Their website describes it:
http://www.umc.org/what-we-believe/what-is-an-agape-meal

John Wesley was a vegetarian according to Britannica encyclopedia.


The Agape Meal, or Love Feast, is a Christian fellowship meal that is often practiced in Covenant Discipleship groups or other small groups.

"A simple, ritual meal in the context of which hymns are sung, Scripture is read, and testimonies and stories of faith are shared. John Wesley instituted this after the Moravian pattern.


All such meals derive from Jewish and early church meals such as are referred to by Paul, and they symbolize the unity of fellowship in the love of Christ which the saints at rest will share. Signs of the agape are the loving cup and bread."

(From The New Handbook of the Christian Year. Copyright © 1986, 1992 by Abingdon Press. Used by permission.)



The United Methodist Book of Worship
 includes a Love Feast service. It says, "The Love Feast, or Agape Meal, is a Christian fellowship meal recalling the meals Jesus shared with disciples during his ministry and expressing the koinonia (community, sharing, fellowship) enjoyed by the family of Christ.


Although its origins in the early church are closely interconnected with the origins of the Lord's Supper, the two services became quite distinct and should not be confused with each other.


While the Lord's Supper has been practically universal among Christians throughout church history, the Love Feast has appeared only at certain times and among certain denominations."

(Editor: The "certain times" were the first 3 and a half centuries of the Christian religion, the first of which was the century that Jesus Christ's Original Apostles walked the earth. Even though it was not allowed in the official churches after 363-364 A.D., the agape feast has survived into the third millenium.
)

FURTHER STUDY:
http://earlychurch.com/LoveFeast.html
Main    :        Contact                                                                                                                                           

(C) 1997-2018 Paradisian publications