Agape Worship Meal
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Agape Meal and Service 55

Love Feast

Hand WashingAn Agape Worship Meal or Love Feast describes a religious meal originally held by early Christians which eventually became Holy Communion. ✞

Abuses

Paul hints at a meal before the sacrament in 1 Corinthians 11.20-22, "When you meet together, you are not really interested in the Lord’s Supper. For some of you hurry to eat your own meal without sharing with others. As a result, some go hungry while others get drunk. What? Don’t you have your own homes for eating and drinking?" It is obvious there are abuses present when some eat heartily and others go hungry. The Early Church's answer to this problem seems to have been to separate off the meal from the sacramental section.✞

Modern Agape

The set up therefore for a modern version of the Agape is important. The room should be comfortable and may be lit with candles for ambience. The table and chairs are set out in a "U" or "horseshoe" shape, set for dinner, so that all are facing each other.✞

Call to Worship

Bible radiating LightThe leader should distribute the Gospel and Epistle readings in written form for everybody in advance. The service begins with a call to worship such as "The Lord be with you" (assuming people have arrived and are engaged in casual conversation.)✞

Hand Washing

Fish SymbolOne person with a jug of warm water and bowl, another with a towel pass around the group and pour water over each person's hands saying, "This is a reminder of Jesus' love and servant hood" and then to each person says, "In Jesus' name, we welcome you to this Agape Meal." The persons with the jug and the towel have their hands washed last of all.✞

Agape Love

For details of some possible prayers over the wine, over the bread and over the other food, see Worship Meal of Trinity Episcopal Church in Cranford, New Jersey.✞

"Agape Worship Meal"
by Ron Meacock © 2017

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