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What is an Agape Meal?

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

The New Handbook of the Christian Year gives this definition: "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."

(From The United Methodist Book of Worship. Copyright © 1992 by The United Methodist Publishing House. Used by permission.)

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