"By Trevor Lloyd, Vicar of Holy Trinity Church, Wealdstone, Middlesex".
Includes bibliographical references.
"Traditionally, people have seen a very early separation between the agape or meal and the eucharist proper, dating back to Paul's comment about the meal at Corinth, in 1 Corinthians 11. The two go on to develop separately, until the agape dies out sometime in the sixth or seventh century, and the eucharist is preserved as the thing which is specifically done in obedience to Christ's command, 'Do this ..'. It is this which today enables the agape to be revived in a totally non-eucharistic context, as a throw-back to what happened to the agape in the third and fourth centuries. I shall argue for a very close connection between the agape and the eucharist at the beginning, with subsequent corruption of the agape into something that most church leaders recognised as a scandal. The lesson for today from this is that if we have agapes, then they must reflect the very early (and eucharistic) style of happening, and not the later (non-eucharistic) style". -- p. 3.
Contents: The Agape -- Evidence from the New Testament -- Evidence from the Early Church -- Principles for the Agape To-Day -- Pattern for the Agape To- Day -- People for the Agape To- Day -- How and Why -- Appendix: Some examples of modern agapes.