Friday, April 25, 2008

Agape Dinner

Last night, the 2nd graders celebrated their Agape Dinner. I learned that agape is a Greek word for love.

Coming home and looking it up on the internet, I found that there are (at least) three Greek words for love (eros, philia, and agape). Agape refers especially to selfless love or God's love for humanity.

Also on the internet, I learned that Agape feasts were common during the early period of Christianity, often centering around the bread and wine of the Eucharist.

The 2nd graders spent the whole school day in a retreat for their First Holy Communion. One of the things they did was bake bread with some of the third grade parents. They made a loaf of bread with a cross on the top. When they got to the Agape Dinner, their bread had been baked and was waiting at their place at the table.

The evening started with some scriptural readings and a toast to the children. They were instructed to open the little present that was on the table. It contained a small glass Blessing Cup, engraved with their own name. What a wonderful gesture! I was not aware of this tradition at the school, and was impressed. The toast to the children included a moment for the parents to speak to their child.

We ate a wonderful dinner, which was pot luck. Big Girl ate her entire loaf of bread during the proceedings (the two boys at our table did not eat even a bite of theirs).

Then the children sang a song for us, complete with choreography! Big Girl sang out loud and strong.

Each child was called up to tell us about the banner they had made. Some children had written out a little speech, which they then read for us, but most just spoke off-the-cuff. Big Girl went the figure-it-out-when-I-get-up-there route and told us about her family, her house, the wine and the bread.

When it was over, we carefully brought the wine glass home to enjoy for years and years. Including today!

We are very happy that the big day is finally here, less than 15 hours away!

Now, let's take a look at my list:
To Do:

Wash the girls' nice white sweaters (done! but we now know it's going to be hot)
Sheer white stockings are the wrong size, need to exchange (done!)
Make reservations for celebratory lunch (done!)
New dress shoes for The Boy (done!)
Trim the girls' bangs (done!)
Paint Middle Girl's toes (done! but we bought her different shoes anyway!)
Wrap gifts, write in the card (do this, then go to bed)
Pack extra batteries in the camera case (done!)
What will Mommy wear? (hmmmm...)


JCK said...

What a lovely dinner. These rituals are always so special and meaningful, maybe for us more seeing our children through the passage of time.

Anonymous said...

If it had been one of my girls having to speak in front of everyone, they would have frozen on the spot and possibly perished from sheer terror. Public speakers, they are not.

Tootsie Farklepants said...

I'm assuming you found something fabulous to wear! Congratulations!

Snooty Primadona said...

How cool. I've never heard of that before either, but I like it. It seems like something they will never forget, which is always a good thing.

I always thought the kids who planned their little speeches in 3rd grade were a bit anal retentive. I like it that your daughter just got up and did it. Good for her.