46 responses to 5 Common Amish Church Practices (Uncommon In Other Churches)
  • *
    Robin Wyatt
    Comment on Ministers (June 12th, 2015 at 08:05)

    Ministers

    I understand how they pick their Ministers but my question is if they don’t got to school for it, are they ordained? And are the Legal to Marry people?

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      Debbie H
      Comment on Ordained? (June 12th, 2015 at 10:29)

      Ordained?

      Not all Christian denominations require schooling and you can go online, pay a fee and be ordained. Many non denominational pastors have no seminary education. And yes, they can marry people.

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        Robin Wyatt
        Comment on Debbie H (June 12th, 2015 at 11:40)

        Debbie H

        I understand that not all go to seminary school or even have to.. that isn’t what I was referring to. But you still have to have some type or certificate to be able to marry people, to baptize someone, and to do funerals.. They can’t go online to do that. I was just wondering how they are legal to do it.

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          Debbie H
          Comment on 5 Common Amish Church Practices (Uncommon In Other Churches) (June 12th, 2015 at 16:46)

          There is no law that says you have to have a certificate to baptize.

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          Amish girl- Rebecca
          Comment on 5 Common Amish Church Practices (Uncommon In Other Churches) (June 13th, 2015 at 09:19)

          On the question of being legal to officiate in marriages and funerals, only bishops do that and they get a license from the county. So Amish bishops are first ordained as a minister and might later be ordained as a bishop and then gets licensed.

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            Robin Wyatt
            Comment on Amish-Girl Rebecca (June 14th, 2015 at 06:20)

            Amish-Girl Rebecca

            Thank you,, your comment on my question was the answer I was looking for.. I appreciate the information.
            Have a great day.

            Robin Wyatt

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    Derek J.
    Comment on 5 Common Amish Church Practices (Uncommon In Other Churches) (June 12th, 2015 at 08:20)

    Another interesting practice is that when church begins there is a distinct progression of who enters the church space first, second and last, and in larger districts or smaller homes, who stands and who sits.

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      Beckysue
      Comment on 5 Common Amish Church Practices (Uncommon In Other Churches) (June 12th, 2015 at 08:32)

      This true here in our community. The oldest man first and so on. If you are 12 and older and a male, you join your father. If younger you stay with your mother.

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        Amish girl- Rebecca
        Comment on 5 Common Amish Church Practices (Uncommon In Other Churches) (June 13th, 2015 at 11:05)

        In our community the married women and the little ones are seated in age before the men come in usually with the older ladies in front. Then the ministers come in and shake hands with the women , followed by the other men who follow by age with the younger men also having children along. Then the unmarried girls sit down behind the ministers who are facing the other men. last the boys come in and sit behind the men. Children up to 9 or 10 sit with either of their parents and may go back and forth between them during the day or may sit with grandparents or older siblings.

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    Beckysue
    Comment on uncommon (June 12th, 2015 at 09:30)

    uncommon

    The list for uncommon could tend to be lengthy as far as traditions are concerned. From the way you enter church to how, who and when one gets to eat to who or what they’ve done to come under the “beans” or ban as it’s refered to here. We live in a very small community in PA. This community originates from the Dover Delaware Amish. My husband’s grandfather stated this community! It’s been very interesting and sometimes confusing to understand even outside of church regulations. I have a few embarrassing memories that were awful at the time but are funny now! BTW.. Amish women do NOT “high five”..normally. What a wonderful site Erik!

    • Thank you Beckysue! I think you’re right, you could probably add a number of other things to this list.

      I haven’t looked too far into it, but I would be curious how many other Christian churches today practice footwashing, sex-segregated seating, have 3-4 hour long services, or service on alternating Sundays to name a few.

      Interesting to hear about your husband’s grandfather starting Dover, was he a Miller?

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    Donna J
    Comment on 5 Common Amish Church Practices (Uncommon In Other Churches) (June 12th, 2015 at 13:03)

    I think it is refreshing that in this day and age some churches look like a city in the fact that they are huge. This just proves you can worship anywhere and make do with what you have. They use their homes. Simple and plain just like them. This is what amazes me is the focus of the Amish on what is important in life! Boy could we learn some lessons from them!!!!

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    Lance
    Comment on 5 Common Amish Church Practices (Uncommon In Other Churches) (June 12th, 2015 at 13:04)

    Of course, establishing the ordnung and the associated meeting for doing so is something only found in certain anabaptist churches.

    Communion services are common to all Christianity, but how the Amish go about it extremely different. Before the Amish can have communion, the church members have to be in full agreement, or in biblical language, of ‘one accord’. This process involves the deacon approaching each member to see if he/she is in good standing with the church and all other members. If no one is on objection, the church comes together to discuss the ordnung and if all are still in agreement, a communion service will be held the following service. If there are issues, the church will attempt a few times to iron them out, but communion cannot be held until then. After a meeting or two, if nothing comes together, communion is skipped and the congregation will wait another 6 months to try again. That is all in stark contrast to the main line churches that leave the communion decision up to the individual.

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    Alice Mary
    Comment on 5 Common Amish Church Practices (Uncommon In Other Churches) (June 12th, 2015 at 13:42)

    Born and raised (and schooled for 12 years) a Catholic (though not practicing now), I had no idea that my opinion that babies should not be baptized, only older teens or adults should decide if/when to join a church, was pretty much what Anabaptists (including the Amish) believed. I knew virtually nothing about the Amish back then, but when I started learning about Amish beliefs, I found I had more in common with them than I thought(reliogiously speaking).

    Also, when in (Catholic) high school in the 1960’s, the young priest who taught our Senior class religious education, the “new” worship (aside from guitar masses, no longer having to wear a “head covering” in church if you were a woman)that was being talked about was HOME services (Mass) which was what the early Christians practiced. Another similarity with the Amish, although it didn’t come to happen large-scale (in the Catholic religion) that I was ever aware of…I left the church shortly thereafter.

    As far as marriage, baptism or funerals go, as Debbie H. mentions, you can go online and legally be ordained to marry people. As far as I know, you don’t “need” to be ordained to perform a baptism (it would vary with various religious denominations, of course.) We were taught that we, as baptized Catholics, in the event of a non-baptized child or a willing teen/adult being at immediate risk of death, wanted to be baptized, we (non-ordained Catholic males & females) could baptize that child/person ourselves, and it would “count”, at least in the eyes of the Catholic church (I have no idea what other denominations can do). As far as funerals go, you don’t need any kind of license or ordination certificate (that I know of) to “do” a funeral service. I’ve been to funerals where the funeral director did the service, or friends or family of the deceased ran the ceremony. Now, I’m not talking about giving “religious” last rights (back in the ’60’s it was still called “Extreme Unction”, a Catholic sacrament.) My guess is it all depends on one’s religious beliefs, rules & official church regulations, that dictates what the priest, minister, ordinary person can “officially” do, but that would only be in a religious context. Hundreds of thousands of people are married (legally) each year by non-ordained judges, justices of the peace, internet-ordained regular people…and non-denominational “leaders”.

    I was under the impression that what made it(marriage) legal was that the bride and groom THEMSELVES were agreeing (contracting) to be married. The priest or judge and others (usually at least 2) in attendance were merely witnesses to the event (as others may also need to witness the signing of a will or other legal document.)

    “Render unto Caesar…”

    Interesting…the singing, especially the Vorsinger (who seems to have a talent for song). Beautifully done video…quite peaceful. Wouldn’t mind visiting!

    Alice Mary

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      Debbie H
      Comment on 5 Common Amish Church Practices (Uncommon In Other Churches) (June 12th, 2015 at 16:56)

      Well said Alice Mary. I don’t think John the Baptist or any disciple had a certificate to Baptize. It is just modern day legalities of religious organizations and government that require certifications. God ordained is what is important. That is why organized religion if dying and non denominational is growing.

      Another interesting fact: A recent Pew Survey shows that the fastest dying religion in the US is Christianity and the fastest growing is Muslim. Of course the Amish is one Christian religion that has continually grown.

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    Samantha
    Comment on home church (June 12th, 2015 at 16:05)

    home church

    What is not mentioned in this article is the preparation to the before church. Many women from the family or even the congregation gather at the person’s house who is hosting the service and clean it from top to bottom. I was blessed to have my
    Swiss-Amish friend and her daughter (5 years old) come to clean my house as we were expecting out of town guests. She kept telling me “I always do (such-n-such) when I help clean someone’s house before church.” Let me tell you, when she was done you could eat off of my floors.

    • Sounds like you have a great friend Samantha 🙂 Thanks for bringing up this aspect of church. We have a post on that and there is a pretty good article linked within it, describing how families prepare in a Swartzentruber Amish community:

      http://amishamerica.com/how-do-amish-prepare-their-homes-for-church/

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    Forest in NC
    Comment on 5 Common Amish Church Practices (Uncommon In Other Churches) (June 12th, 2015 at 17:04)

    Numbers 2,3, and 5 are the same in our (conservative Mennonite) church, pretty much

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    Ivan Gromling
    Comment on Amish Church (June 12th, 2015 at 19:49)

    Amish Church

    I was never at a Amish Church service but I always heard the older men enter first and sit on one side then the women come in with the younger ones.

    Eric In all your travels in Lancaster CO do you know of any Amish
    who host a Amish meal in their home. As we would like to go there sometime Please let me know
    email me at lazybones7@verizon.net

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    Carol
    Comment on Singing (June 13th, 2015 at 07:56)

    Singing

    Many Church of Christ groups sing unaccompanied–but not necessarily in unison.

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    Terry from Wisconsin
    Comment on Church (June 13th, 2015 at 17:15)

    Church

    When looking back on the history of the Methodist church, at one time in some congregations, the men sat on the left and women the right. The church I grew up in didn’t have that arrangement. But a rural church that we attended after we were married in 1982, did at one time. That took me completely by surprise as I’d never heard of such a thing! This all took place in WI, just different sides of the state.

    Looking back in Lutheran history you will find that they also were segregated. I’ll have to call an old Lutheran from my home town and ask if they sat on different sides. When we visited Norway we were inside a stave church, and in the “olden days” the men and women came in separate doors.

    I Googled the question and if you have some time to kill and a pot of coffee, you’re going to be reading for quite some time! lol

    I found this passage in my reading;
    Galatians 3:28

    There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, and there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

    When I think back on our days in church with four kids, I have to wonder how the sitting arrangement on different sides would have worked!
    Mom, Ok that’s it, you’re going to sit with your father!
    Dad, No, keep him over there!
    The “him” would have been our #2 child!

    Grace and blessings, Terry

    PS: Erik, once again I didn’t mean to write a book! 😉

    • Not a problem Terry! Thanks for the Methodist example. With the Amish below a certain age you will see younger girls with their dad on the men’s side for example.

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      Dirk
      Comment on 5 Common Amish Church Practices (Uncommon In Other Churches) (June 18th, 2015 at 10:25)

      Hi Terry, regarding separate seating here is a verse you may like.

      Mat 22:30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.

      Thus church members being those who expect to be resurrected, when they meet for worship, sit separately as brothers and sisters in the Lord and not together as husbands and wives in the flesh.
      Thereby symbolizing our future heavenly state and not our current worldly state.

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        Terry from Wisconsin
        Comment on Hi Dirk (June 18th, 2015 at 17:24)

        Hi Dirk

        This is when a Bible study provides us with an entirely new meaning to scripture. I’m often nosing around in Matthew, but this was all new to me. I have a Bible scholar at church and we’ll have coffee and chew on the passage! AS disciples of Christ we are NEVER done learning!

        In Christian love

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    Carol
    Comment on 5 Common Amish Church Practices (Uncommon In Other Churches) (June 13th, 2015 at 19:54)

    Evangelical and Reformed Church in Central Illinois observed “men on one side and women on the other” seating for several years.

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    VT anabaptist
    Comment on 5 Common Amish Church Practices (Uncommon In Other Churches) (June 14th, 2015 at 18:29)

    2,3,5 also similar in the Apostolic Christian Church.

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      Matthew M
      Comment on 5 Common Amish Church Practices (Uncommon In Other Churches) (June 15th, 2015 at 20:22)

      The Apostolic Christian Church of America is also similar to number 4 as well. However we do not call it shunning. It is know as the Ban or discipline. The degree of discipline depends upon the degree of the offense/sin.

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    Emily J
    Comment on 5 Common Amish Church Practices (Uncommon In Other Churches) (June 15th, 2015 at 16:02)

    Symbolic footwashing is still practiced in the (Roman) Catholic Church during Holy Week–whoever is presiding over the Mass (priest, bishop, or Pope) will wash the feet of pre-selected people. These people are usually members of the congregation, but the Pope in recent years has also chosen to make larger statements by washing the feet of imprisoned Muslim women, for example, which has NOT been the usual way of things. As to #1-5, no; none of those are features of the RC Church.

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    Mary Yoder
    Comment on 5 Common Amish Church Practices (June 20th, 2015 at 08:38)

    5 Common Amish Church Practices

    Terry, I got a big smile when you referred to shoving child #2 to each other. The men have the children a lot and tend to have less fuss in most cases, due to the old and still active concept of behaving when Dad speaks, and in all honesty, Dads take less toys along. My children would fall asleep easier with hubby, when 1-2 year olds. But the moms have the babies who breastfeed, and are well..babies.

    Now this next one is for Erik! Hey you, when did you have a recorder in your pocket? In Topeka?? LOL They are doing a good djob of it! What do you think it sound slike in Heaven when we have hundreds of churches singing the same song (we all sing this Lob Leid as our 2nd song)at 9:30 AM on Sun morning?

    • Mary Alice good question, no not in Topeka, actually I did not record this song–someone else did, I just found it on YouTube, someone must have had a recorder somewhere. If I had wanted to record I would have sought your permission first 🙂

      I have a question for you too because I know you travel to different communities, have you noticed differences in the way Lob Lied is sung in different places?

      And thanks for giving us a little insight into how Dads manage to keep the children under control 🙂

      • *
        Mary Yoder
        Comment on 5 Common Amish Church Practices (June 22nd, 2015 at 05:47)

        5 Common Amish Church Practices

        Erik,
        Different communities have different accents, so that will make the wording (accented) vary from state to state, but the tune is pretty much same, so much so that a person can lead the song from another settlement very easily. It seems the beginning and ending in each line stays same.

        That recording you have is like one sung at Menno Hoff, and it might have been recorded with some ex-Amish, not sure though.

        And I knew you didn’t record it in Topeka.

        • Thanks Mary Alice, I was wondering if you might be able to tell where this song may have originated by detecting something in an accent. No idea how easy or difficult that might be when listening to church song (picking up accents in speech seems like it would be easier).

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    Valerie
    Comment on Similarity in some Orthodox (June 21st, 2015 at 02:57)

    Similarity in some Orthodox

    We have visited many Orthodox Christian Churches- Most practice 3 (Holy Kiss) and 5 (songs without instruments).
    The Russian Orthodox Church we visited have men on one side, women on the other. The services are about 2.5 hours, women are covered (but not uniform coverings, just some type of scarf).
    Infant baptism mentioned, was apparently from what I read from early church writings, started by the Apostles but they ‘didn’t write it down’ in the Scriptures- but there are 5 passages in New Testament that state whole households were baptized at the same time, which may have included the infants. They didn’t leave the infant out of membership of the Church, which one became a member at their baptism. Apparently infant baptism was the norm until it was contested by some new denominations (example Anabaptists) during the Reformation era- but until then it was practiced worldwide. Some denominations out of the Reformation continued to baptize infants (example Lutherans). I have recently understood all this differently from studying church history.

    It was said here Muslim #’s are fastest growing in America- many are being evangelized to Islam in prison!
    Amish are growing, mainly due to large families not by evangelizing or converts. It is interesting, that denominations that came from the Reformation era which wanted to be ‘scripture only’ started their own traditions- history repeats itself!

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    Melissa Walker
    Comment on Common Amish church practices (July 3rd, 2015 at 02:27)

    Common Amish church practices

    Perhaps another Amish church practice would be the common meal after the service with the same foods served each time. I know most, if not all Christian churches have potlucks or fellowship dinners occasionally, but I am unaware of any that have a communal meal after every service with the same foods served.

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      Carol
      Comment on same food (July 3rd, 2015 at 06:35)

      same food

      Well, that would be one less thing to stress about being the hostess!
      “That’s what I made last time–everybody will think that’s the only thing I know how to make!”

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    Heather Bennett
    Comment on Similarities (August 5th, 2015 at 17:04)

    Similarities

    I am in southern Ohio, and there is a fair-sized Mennonite community nearby. I know that they also are segregated in their church service (held in a church building), as I once interrupted a service. I was having a personal crisis, and was driving to a family member’s house when I passed their church. My car turned in without me being entirely in control, at least mentally, and I just barged in, knowing my friend would be there. She immediately jumped out of her seat and came to me, taking me into a side room to talk. I felt embarrassed about it later, but not because anyone there made me feel so. At any rate, I noticed as I walked in that they were segregated.

    The singing is reminiscent of the singing in the synagogue. The style of song, the melody, sounds very “Jewish,” if you will. Much like the Sh’ma. Here is the Sh’ma sung by a single voice, but in synagogue, many voices sing in unison. Lovely!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QiJk9tf4jZU

    In a number ways, the Jewish religion is similar to the Amish religion. Both emphasize living in compliance to local regulations. Both place a high value on the spiritual health of the community, whereas Christianity seems more concerned with the individual only. Many Jewish set themselves apart by their clothing (obviously the yarmulke, but also many women follow laws of tznius, or modesty, including covering the collarbone and the arm to the elbow) and other means (Orthodox Jews do not hug, shake hands, etc. with members of the opposite gender outside of family.) I have often noted the similarities between the two, and now I have the music as another commonality.

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      Heather Bennett
      Comment on Another similarity (August 5th, 2015 at 17:06)

      Another similarity

      Synagogues also often meet after service on Shabbat for a light meal, called the oneg. That is a very good tradition, I think!

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    Tina Harrison
    Comment on Mormons vs Amish (December 22nd, 2015 at 18:26)

    Mormons vs Amish

    There are a lot of differences between the Mormons and Amish. The Mormons all sit together in a church. The Bishopric is not paid, they all hold regular jobs. The Bishop or his 2 councilors do no preaching. Members of the Ward (an area of the community) are asked to give talks. They have Sunday School, Relief Society for the women and Preisthood for the men. That is the only time that women and men are separated. Then they have the Sacrament meeting where everyone gets together. Usually families all sit together, but you can also see teens sitting with their friends. The Bishop and his 2 councilors sit in the front of the chapel facing the members. Members do the prayers and talks. In giving the sacrament,the Deacons aged 12-14, Teachers 14-16 the Priests aged 16-18, any of these can bless and pass the Sacrament given every Sunday. The first Sunday of the month, usually the Elders, aged 18- till they can’t walk any more, bless and pass the sacrament.
    On baptisms, children do not get baptized before the age of 8. Once they turn 8, they meet with the Bishop who interviews them and then gives them a recommend. The same goes for people investigating the church, but they are taught discussions by the missionaries and are baptized by them. When the boys become Deacons, Teachers, Priests and Elders, they are also interviewed and if found worthy then they are ordained to that position. The Priests and Elders do the baptizing, give blessings by the laying on of hands.
    When Bishops are called, it is done by the Stake Presidency. The Stake Presidency is over about 5 wards. They do fasting and praying to see who God wants for the callings. Once they have been called, it is announced in church and the members raise their hands if the agree and then there is the chance if the disagree, which usually does not happen. A Bishop usually holds this office for 5 years. He picks his councilors by praying and fasting. The person picked can refuse to take the position with no problems.
    There are Ward, Stake and General Conferences though out the year. General Conference being the first weekend in April and October and it is watched on TV in your home. There are 2 sessions on Saturday and 2 on Sunday.
    There are no Ward meals after church and the only time there is a ward get together is at Christmas and the ladies are assigned on what to bring.
    The Bishop is the one that usually does weddings, unless the couple gets married in a temple, then it is some one who is ordained, such as the temple president, a bishop, councilor. In the temples, is the only place where women sit on the left side and men on the right, and special clothing is worn during the temple ceremony.
    During a funeral, the Bishop presides and the family and close friends will give talks, a musical number or two. Then at the cemetery, an Elder in the family will say a blessing over the grave. Then family and friends will go back to the church for a meal.
    I used to belong to the Mormon church, but I had my name removed back in 2007. If anyone has questions feel free to ask and I will answer them. There is more that I could put, but I feel like I’ve already written a book.

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    Comment on Shunning (January 31st, 2017 at 14:14)

    Shunning

    Shunning is a biblical command as found in 1 Cor 5:11. This of course is for a Christian that is living in overt sin and refuses to listen to biblical teachings.

    I have had several business and personal dealings with the Amish and have nothing but the utmost respect and admiration for them.

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