Love Feastgreenspun.com : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread
We just completed our first Love Feast at the church that I am blessed to pastor, Macedonia AME @ Kaufman Texas. Each family brought a covered dish of choice, we had a balanced meal, wonderful singing, praying, fellowship and left singing Sweet, Sweet, Spirit. The Holy Spirit was indeed magnified tonight. Does your church have love feasts? If so, do you attend? Do you actually eat or do you use the symbolic process?
-- Anonymous, January 31, 2004
It is something wwe're considering returnig to more actively.
-- Anonymous, February 01, 2004
Hmmm, That was a "feast" for sure, but not the historic, traditioonal "love feast" which was usually held the week before the first Sunday and in preparation for Holy Communion.
It is/was marked by the breaking of bread (literally, as each person broke off a small piece of each attendees piece of bread) and water in place of grape juice. I know we did not eat the bread, but don't recall whether we sipped the water.
Similarly, on Ash Wednesday, as a beginning of Lent, we observe an "Agape Feast" in which each person/family brings a covered dish to share in meal following a service which includes the imposition of ashes.
The Discipline gives reference to an item in the "Book of Worship" apparently a reference or worship guide used by ministers.
-- Anonymous, February 02, 2004
I like the way you all practice Love Feast. At my church, we use the traditional bread and water. Love Feast is held the Tuesday before the first Sunday, the reasoning behind this is that we are all on one accord before we accept communion. It follows the prayer meeting in which songs are sung as well as testimonies. The participants assemble in a circle and our pastor offers prayer and instructions for any new members. The Stewardesses hand each member a communion glass of water wherein we all partake at the same time usually accompanied by song (accapella). Small pieces of bread are distributed to each Love Feast participant. We then go to each person in the circle and break off a small piece of bread with the right hand, and place the bit in the left hand, a handshake is given along with a greeting, and then you proceed to the next participant. The idea is to shake hands with all participants or as many as you can get to. If you have ought with any member it is considered a time of reconciliation. By the way, the bread is never consumed. It is discarded into a tray and later fed to the birds.
-- Anonymous, February 02, 2004
In another string, which bears the same subject as this, I stated that there is an Official Order of “Love Feasts” to be held prior to Communion, which was approved and adopted by the General Conference of the A.M.E. Church. I posted this Order of Worship in the other string. It can also be found in the Book of Worship of the A.M.E. Church published by the Commission on Worship and Liturgy by order of the General Conference in 1984. The rules state that bread is pinched and shared and water is sipped when individual cups are used; but the bread is to be collected and NEVER AT ANY TIME to be eaten when it is pinched and shared.
While Love Feasts may be likened to an “Agape Meal” each is distinctly different in the way it is observed. The Official Order of Love Feasts in the A.M.E. Church is taken from the instructions of Bishop Richard Allen and the Founding Fathers of the Church as John Wesley taught and practiced it, Wesley having derived it from the Moravian Church.
In the early days of Methodism and the A.M.E. Church, members were given Quarterly tickets to Love Feasts by the Class Leader of the same. This signified that they had been officially examined and admitted to a Class and that they were in good and regular standing in the Church. It also signified that they were in love and charity and deemed to be living holy and godly lives, thus entitling them to be admitted to the Lord’s Supper, or Holy Communion as it is commonly known.
The Order of Love Feasts is also elaborated upon and discussed in Bishop Henry McNeal Turner’s The Genius and Theory of Methodist Polity, or the Machinery of Methodism, Chapter 25, page 209. Turner traces it back to early Greek and Roman feasts and gives documentation of the Old Testament use of it.
Christian love-feast takes as its charter Jesus’ instruction that if you come to the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift at the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother or sister, then come again. The object of love-feasts in Methodism, according to Bishop Turner, is to prepare the church for the Lord's supper. To have the people bury all bickerings, malice, envy and strife, and if any are not speaking, to get them to make up and start upon a new Christian career. So this necessitates holding the love-feast before the Lord's Supper Bishop Turner says.
-- Anonymous, February 03, 2004