Author: Paul Fike Stutzman
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
What is a Love Feast? How did the early church celebrate the Love Feast? How might Christians today celebrate the Love Feast? In Recovering the Love Feast, Paul Stutzman addresses these questions, offering a unique blend of liturgical history and practical theology. Part I outlines the history of the Love Feast, noting its prevalence in early church worship, its gradual decline, and its reemergence in the practices of several Pietist groups (e.g., the Moravians, Methodists, and Brethren). Particular focus is given to five elements of the celebration, that is: eucharistic preparation, feetwashing, the fellowship meal, the holy kiss, and the Eucharist proper. In Part II, Stutzman argues that the Love Feast is a valuable Christian practice and a celebration worth recovering in those traditions that may have forgotten the feast. Rather than prescribing a specific method for celebrating the Love Feast, Stutzman proposes that there are five key disciplines that today's Love Feasts should embody: submission, love, confession, reconciliation, and thanksgiving. This book encourages Christians from a range of traditions to experiment with reclaiming the Love Feast, with the hope that each celebration serves as an act of worship to God and an authentic expression of Christian discipleship.