Agape (Greek Αγάπη; the Latin caritas) refers to a Greek word for love, which is famous by the New Testament and outside of the Greek term for solid, but differs in meaning (in time before it) clearly of Eros, Philia and Stoika .
In Catholic and Protestant parishes Agape is also the name of a common meal for a special church service, for example, after the Easter Vigil or a wedding. The word is based on the "love feast" of early Christianity.
The Greek verb agapao means be satisfied with something, "but also" treat someone with respect, prefer. Plotinus used the term for the descending love: one of the subject outgoing, free activity, so the lesser increases, while the soaring love, Eros, a state of being determined is through something not provided by the subject, and the urge for this somewhat.
The Greek New Testament agape means without exception God's pure and divine love. Agape is thus an unconditional, unilateral, liberating, centered on other love.
The further significance: Agape does not mean directly that kind of love that is in the German language usually associated with the term "love" but rather a spiritual and metaphysical "connection between people. At Agape, it is not (excluded) in partnership love, but one (including) Community love.
This love may include the fraternal correction, to which the faithful are obliged by the Roman Catholic understanding. For Pope Benedict XVI. Agape is also the name for the sacrament of Holy Eucharist. He deals in his first encyclical in detail with the theme of selfless love.
Love is, according to Paul of Tarsus, the highest of the three Christian virtues: faith, hope and love (1 Corinthians 13:13). Agape is disinterested love, which loves even its enemies. Compare to the words of Jesus on the cross: "Lord, forgive them for they know not what they do."
In 1 Corinthians 13.1-13 LUT, the Song of Songs of Love, Paul gives a detailed characterization of Agape.
Agape as Liebesmahlfeier
Paul criticized in the first Letter to the Corinthians, their practice, that each to Agape (Liebesmahlfeier) ate only himself Packed and not informed, so that differences between the actually same community members were visible (the community was in fact in Agape and the Eucharist as "one flesh" because they had tasted of the "one bread", the body of Jesus Christ).
In the early church was the Agape is a synonym for the Eucharist. This brought the Christian with food and wine, were ble
ssed and then eaten together. Thus the Agape fulfilled in addition to the ritual, a charitable task. The practice of the Eucharist as ordinary meal probably dates from the Jewish kiddush celebrations on the Sabbath. This is at least in liberal Jewish communities after church still held a meal.
Today, Agape also referred to an ordinary meal of the Christian community, for example, following a church service.
To promote cohesion and community among the otherwise largely autonomous Baptist churches were in line with the so-called early Christian Agape Liebesmahlfeiern performed. In a given region invited individual communities surrounding the sister churches to such a celebration.
Especially popular this national holidays (New Year's Day, May 1st, the Day of German Unity, etc.) and religious holidays (Reformation, Repentance and Prayer, 2nd Day, 2nd day of Easter, Pentecost was second). Each community had its fixed Liebesmahltermin and that day was hostess for the other communities.
At these events played next sermon, prayer, community and shared meals personal experiences from the everyday life of faith an important role. Only a few Baptist churches they still have this tradition.
See Also: idul fitri, hamper hari raya, hari raya hampers