- Greek: love
Meal taken in common by early Christians; it was a development of the Jewish funeral feasts. Certainly it is of this that the letter of Pliny to Trajan (c.110) speaks for Bithynia, and later (c.200) Tertullian for Africa. It does not seem to have been joined to the celebration of the Eucharist; the eleventh chapter of the First Epistle of Saint Paul to the Corinthians, far from supporting such a union, seems rather to reprove as an abuse the attempt to bring other foods to the Lord’s table. It was never a universal institution in the Church, led to excesses, and disappeared soon after the 5th century.