Maundy Thursday: Agape Feast with Celebration of the Eucharist

Thursday, March 29, 2018 - 7:00pm to 8:45pm
Fresco of a banquet[a] at a tomb in the Catacomb of Saints Marcellinus and Peter, Via Labicana, Rome.

Join us as we observe Maundy Eucharist with an agape feast.  Agape is from the Greek for "love" -- and a 'love feast,' centering around a meal, was a rather dominant part of apostolic worship in the early church.  Even after the death of the apostles, the pre-Nicene Church continued to practice the agape or love feast.

For the origin of the love feast, we need to look no further than the Last Supper.  “As they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, ‘Take, eat; this is My body’” (Matt. 26:26). So the very first Eucharist was instituted in the context of a meal! A meal continued to be the normal setting in which Christians met together for fellowship and worship. Acts 2:46 tells us: “Continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart.” The expression, “breaking bread,” no doubt includes the celebration of the Eucharist. However, the phrase, “they ate their food with gladness” would also indicate that this was more than communion; it was also a meal. 

Within a century or so after Constantine’s conversion, this important part of apostolic worship totally disappeared. In recent years, it has been revived as a way for Christians to join together, sharing their faith and nourishing each other. This year, the Trinity family's celebration of Maundy Thursday will be a love feast.  We will meet in the parish hall and share a communal meal of simple foods. Prayers and song will be interspersed throughout the meal and the Eucharist will be celebrated and distributed.  

Immediately after the agape, we will proceed into the sanctuary and strip the altar. The Great Watch begins immediately after services end and continues to 10:00 PM. 

Since all food will be donated by those taking part, please see our Holy Week 2018 resources page for meal suggestions.