(Agape), (2 Peter 2:13; Jude 1:12) an entertainment in which the poorer members of the church partook, furnished from the contributions of Christians resorting to the eucharistic celebration, but whether before or after may be doubted. The true account of the matter is probably that given by Chrysostom, who says that after the early community of goods had ceased the richer members brought to the church contributions of food and drink, of which, after the conclusion of the services and the celebration of the Lord's Supper, all partook together, by this means helping to promote the principle of love among Christians. The intimate connection especially in early times, between the Eucharist itself and the love feasts has led some to speak of them as identical. The love feasts were forbidden to be held in churches by the Council of Laudicea, A.D. 320; but in some form or other they continued to a much later period.
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