Activity time: 30 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Story, "The Love Feast"
- Finger foods such as fruit, cookies, or cake, and toothpicks or utensils
- Optional: Candles
- Optional: Music
- Optional: Participant journals
Preparation for Activity
- At least a week beforehand, describe the activity to participants, using the paragraph from the Description of Activity below. Tell them it is a common activity at youth conferences. Make sure they are comfortable with the idea and willing to participate.
- Find out about any food allergies or sensitivities and share the information with all participants.
- Invite each participant to bring a favorite finger food to share.
- Set up a table for foods, utensils, and napkins.
- Decorate the meeting space.
- Optional: Make a playlist of music to play during the love feast.
Description of Activity
Invite participants to place their food contributions on the table when they arrive.
Introduce the activity with these or similar words:
A love feast is a ritual meal sometimes shared during a youth conference. The objective of the meal is to build intimacy and community among the participants. The ambiance of the love feast can add a lot to the experience. Sometimes the ritual features special music and decorations. Sometimes participants feed one another with their fingers and other times with utensils, although utensils and/or toothpicks will likely make an adult group more comfortable.
Begin the love feast by reading the story aloud. Explain that the love feast operates with one simple rule: You may eat whatever you like as long as you do not feed yourself. Invite all to participate. The ritual ends whenever everyone has finished eating.
If you have time, invite participants to share their impressions or experiences of the love feast. Alternatively, encourage them to write about the love feast in their journals.