AN EASTER LOVE FEAST
The Love Feast is a Christian fellowship meal recalling the meals Jesus shared with his disciples during his ministry and after his resurrection. Although its origins in the early church are closely interconnected with the origins of the Holy Communion, the two services became quite distinct and should not be confused with each other. The modern history of the Love Feast began when the Moravians in Germany introduced a service of sharing food, prayer, religious conversation, and hymns in 1727. It expresses the community and sharing enjoyed by the family of Christ. The Love Feast is often held in the home and is most naturally held around a table or with persons seated in a circle.
A focal point of The Love Feast is testimony and thanksgiving to God. What better time than Easter to share a few words about our faith or to recall God’s gifts for which we are grateful.
The Love Feast includes the lighting of a candle and the sharing of food. Therefore we suggest you follow up The Love Feast with your Easter meal. You will need a glass or cup of water for each person, and a plate or bowl filled with as much as you want of bread, crackers, or rolls.
The Love Feast
Leader: Christ is risen! Response: Christ is risen indeed!
LIGHTING OF THE CANDLE
This may be spoken or sung to the tune of “Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow” (OLD HUNDREDTH)
Be present at our table, Lord;
Be here and everywhere adored;
Your creatures bless, and grant that we
May feast in paradise with Thee.
THE LORD’S PRAYER
Hear us as we pray together in the words of the risen Christ:
Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins,
as we forgive those who sin against us, and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.
“Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death— even death on a cross. Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
PASSING OF THE BREAD
Now let us share together in this feast. If you are not alone, you will pass the bread and offer some water to each person you are sheltering with. If alone, you will serve yourself some bread and water. Eat and drink as much as you have available and need. Offer reflections, prayers, and words of gratitude to God during the meal. As you break and share bread, I say to you: You are loved by Christ. As you partake of the cup of water, I say to you: You are a child of God.
PRAYER AFTER THE MEAL
We give thanks for this time of fellowship and sharing your love, O God. May we offer the love and grace and peace that you have given us to others, both strangers and friends. Amen.
The grace of the risen Christ,
and the love of God,
and the presence of the Holy Spirit
be with us all. Amen!