Recently, a number of exhibited examples of participatory and social practice art have been accompanied by wall texts stating that the viewer is invited to engage with the project. The specific nature of the invitation varies, but the term is now a stock element in curatorial and critical discourse. This chapter traces the history and implications of the rhetoric of invitation. Drawing on the work of Marcel Mauss and Lewis Hyde, the author relates its surging popularity to a recent interest, among theorists of social practice, in gift theory. Viewed from such a perspective, the language of invitation connotes an almost utopian generosity. But the term can also be read in relation to the emergent experience economy, problematizing any sense of a pure idealism. The language of invitation carries a range of associations that simultaneously reveal and complicate some of the central intentions of leading social practice artists.]