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Food and Faith in Christian Culture$
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Ken Albala and Trudy Eden

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780231149976

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231149976.001.0001

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Commensality and Love Feast

Commensality and Love Feast

The Agape Meal in the Late Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth-Century Brethren in Christ Church

Chapter:
(p.147) Chapter 7 Commensality and Love Feast
Source:
Food and Faith in Christian Culture
Author(s):

Heidi Oberholtzer Lee

Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231149976.003.0007

This chapter discusses the love feast, or agape, of the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Brethren in Christ Church. The love feast represents a central movement and site of pious practice, sacred eating, theological discussion, and evangelization by gastronomy. For the Brethren in Christ, the love feast once required each of its host churches many months of planning, which includes food enough for two days of feasting by hundreds of church members and visitors, and overnight housing. The typical event includes a time of personal testimonies for most of a Saturday; Saturday evening with feet washing ceremony, fellowship dinner, and subsequent sharing of a communion (Eucharistic) meal; Sunday morning with a church service, and afternoon with sharing, preaching, and religious instruction. Today, most Brethren love feasts consist primarily of feet washing and one potluck meal for local congregants, as well as a time of sharing, church services, and sometimes baptisms.

Keywords:   love feast, agape, Brethren in Christ Church, sacred eating, feet washing, fellowship dinner, Eucharistic meal, church service

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