The first loving cups were used amongst Methodists in the 18th century at "love feasts." They gathered for these feasts at private homes, small chapels or simply in small groups, praying, reading the Scriptures, and testifying to God's love in their lives. Unlike Holy Communion, the love feast, or 'agape' meal, recalls the meals other than the Last Supper which Jesus shared with the disciples and others.
Loving cups have two handles for passing water from one participant to the next. The tradition of the love feast still continues in Methodist churches in slightly amended form.
This black-printed cup was produced to commemorate the establishment of the first Wesleyan Methodist society in 1739 and the building of a new Centenary Mission Hall in Bishopsgate, London.
See also the other examples of 'love feast' or loving cups in the Online Collection.