15 responses to A Calender Tale
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    Alice Aber
    Comment on A Calender Tale (March 18th, 2011 at 06:36)

    Awesome story, very interesting information!! Thanks so much for sharing, I really enjoyed reading it. I loved to hear about the spiritual holidays that are listed in the almanac. That is pretty cool. I don’t think you find those listed anywhere else.

    Thanks again!
    Blessings, Alice

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    Comment on A Calender Tale (March 18th, 2011 at 08:51)

    I live near Parke County, Indiana, and I purchased Raber’s Almanac at an Amish variety store there. I have enjoyed reading through the almanac.

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    Comment on A Calender Tale (March 18th, 2011 at 09:33)

    Excellent post! For those who want an explanation on the Ember Days, I suggest you google the Catholic Encyclopedia online with the term “Ember Days” for the definition and praxis. Ember Days were days of fast and/or abstinence peculiar to the Roman Catholic Church that occurred during certain seasons and prior to important feast days. The practice of ember days ended following the Second Vatican Council with the promulgation of the New Mass of Pope Paul VI and the new calendar. However, there are still some “Traditional” Roman Catholics who attend the older Latin Mass who observe the tradition of the ember days out of personal piety or at the request/requirement of their priest (these being Roman Catholics who have not recognized any of the Pope’s since the 1950’s as legitimate successors to the Papacy).

    I found it interesting when opening up Raber’s Calendar the first time that each day lists a Roman Catholic saint. Who knew the Amish were so ecumenical? Seriously, though, it is a startling irony that the Amish would acknowledge the canonized saints of a church which tortured them during their time in Europe.

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    Comment on A Calender Tale (March 18th, 2011 at 10:10)

    Thanks for the excellent article, Kate.

    Here in Lancaster County, PA, vintage picture calendars command high prices at Amish household auctions because Amish bidders compete for them like fine art objects.

    It is often the Amish men who bid on these colorful calendars, so the antique calendars with hunting scenes or wildlife images often sell for big bucks.

    So if you have a 1920s calendar published by Winchester Rifle Company, sell it to an Amishman. It will make him very happy!

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    Alice Mary
    Comment on A Calender Tale (March 18th, 2011 at 11:19)

    Intersting, both the article and Matthew’s statement regarding his surprise at finding a listing of Saints’ Days in Raber’s Calendar. Being born and raised (and schooled 12 years) as a Catholic (now former), I had the same thought—if the Amish suffered under the hands of the Papists, why embrace their Saints? As another “Alice” once said, “Curiouser and curiouser…”

    Hopefully, Kate can shed more light on this puzzle!

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    Comment on A Calender Tale (March 18th, 2011 at 11:30)

    Wow, this brings back memories from my childhood. My parents always bought a Raber’s Almanac in a Spector’s Drygoods store either in English or German. Mom used it to determine when to plant ground crops or flowers or cucumbers. And if she didn’t plant on those days we didn’t get much of a crop.

    Of course I studied that thing mostly about the preachers and counted all the church districts across America and into Canada. Even the Hutterite preachers were listed, although at that time I had no clue who the Hutterites were.

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    Kate Hastings
    Comment on A Calender Tale (March 18th, 2011 at 12:21)

    Hi, Matthew and Alice Mary,
    I talked to three Amish friends specifically about the saints’ days, and not one had paid the slightist attention to them. One did not know that the names on each day were saints’ names. I have looked at nineteenth century almanacs in German from three other communities–Allentown, Pa., Reading, Pa., and Cincinnati, Ohio. The pages listing astronomical information and saints’ days are identical in format from one place to another. It is almost a template that is only changed to reflect precise sunrise, sunset, moonrise, etc. times in each longitude.

    Lee, you’re our printing historian. Was there a mat or a template?

    Katie, I had read that there used to be Hutterite listings, but I have not seen any in the past 10 years or so.

    Thank you, Alice Aber and James, for your kind words.


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    David Cannella
    Comment on A Calender Tale (March 18th, 2011 at 13:10)

    Hello everyone God bless all of you today. I can sence the bond we all have. Our love for the Amish is only because of Christ in us. For he is the waymaker and the one that brings Gods people into fellowship in his light (word). We are family and kin this morning, thank God for the fellowship of the saints. I draw close to the Amish because I cannot find it in the Church. We live in a day of darkness and deception. But God has a people. My life and the way I live are very like the Amish. I am very dedicated to Christ. It really touched my heart when this beautiful educated lady said they like the old New “American Almanac” because of the Holy Days. That are not availible in ordanary calenders. It is the way I feel. They for the most part pant after that which is of God. And not the World. It makes my heart Smile. The educated lady must be very respectfull of the ways of the people. It is difficult to hang with people in the World without the World rubbing off. I wonder how that affects the Amish. I am Amish in Spirit even though not in the Flesh. God Bless you brothers and sisters. I LOVR YOU!

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    Comment on A Calender Tale (March 18th, 2011 at 14:07)

    the New American Almanac, still featuring a stylized crest of the state of Pennsylvania on its cover, has flourished in Amish hands for more than 80 years.

    As the sub-title of the DVD states…the Amish truly are a people of preservation. I admire them for that.

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    Comment on A Calender Tale (March 18th, 2011 at 16:12)

    Anglicans still keep Ember Days. The Lenten Ember days _ Wednesday, Friday and Saturday – fell this week. We are tokeep them in church services and personally as fast days. When I was a seminarian, we were to write our bishops in Ember weeks. (The other Ember days fall after WhitSunday, or Pentecost.) They are days for “fanning the embers of faith into flame.” (Evelyn Underhill, I believe.) We keep Pentecost (Whitsunday) and Ascension Day, as well. The saints’ names may have been retained for parents, as a guide for naming children born on or near that day. I have a theory that the Amish were isolated Orthodox who lost their Constantinople-associated bishops at the Great Schism. They were too isolated for Rome to bother with until the Reformation, when they became involved with the Anabaptist movement.

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    Comment on A Calender Tale (March 18th, 2011 at 17:36)

    What is a daughter settlement?

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    Kate Hastings
    Comment on A Calender Tale (March 18th, 2011 at 19:12)

    Many Amish settlements consider themselves to be “daughter settlements” of Lancaster County PA. The Amish who settled in southeastern PA, be it Chester County, Berks County, or Lancaster County, in the 1720s-1790s ended up in fairly compact settlements in Lancaster County for five or more generations. In the past 50 years, their numbers became so great that there was not enough farmland for them in Lancaster County. They formed settlements in other Pennsylvania counties, Virginia, Maryland, Kentucky, New York, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Missouri.
    In 2008, a directory was printed of the addresses of the Lancaster County Amish. There are 6,639 entries spread through eight states.

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    Comment on A Calender Tale (March 18th, 2011 at 20:50)

    It is so very neat what one can find while shopping when they least expect it. It is the sort of things certain antique themed TV shows are built around.
    My reproduction almanac that I mentioned once seems to be bound similarly, only the artist used string “to be more authentic to the way they bound them in the era” though I notice the 1866 one illustrated may be stapled, but it could have been the way it was done.

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    Comment on A Calender Tale (March 18th, 2011 at 21:15)

    PS, I wanted to thank Kate Hastings for her wonderful article about her discovery of these calendars, I wish I could find things like that! Oh, and does she blog on her own site?

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    Al in Ky
    Comment on A Calender Tale (March 19th, 2011 at 15:37)

    Thanks for a most interesting post. I’m grateful
    that the Amish are willing to sell copies of
    Raber’s Almanac to non-Amish. I bought my first
    copy several years ago at an Amish store in Holmes
    County and was afraid they weren’t going to let
    me buy a copy, but they were very gracious. Raber’s Almanac has been a very helpful resource in visiting Amish communities that are new to me.

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