“For Thanksgiving my extended Kuhns family came to town and for entertainment the 2 year olds were playing church,” writes Karleen Kuhns.
After viewing Karleen’s videos, I realized they were too cute to not share with you.
In the first of three videos, one of the boys sings the opening to the Loblied (“Hymn of Praise”, sung as the second hymn in every Amish church service).
Compared to the rendition here, the little guy’s notes sound pretty close:
In the second one, the boys are joined by a little girl, there is more singing, and then in a dramatic moment, little Adrian gets plowed over by another child running by.
However Karleen notes that “he was totally fine 5 seconds later.”
The third video shows the children demonstrating kneeling prayer which occurs towards the end of the Amish service, more singing, and possibly some preaching:
At these ages the children have a limited understanding of what they are doing, but they absorb from a young age what happens in Amish church.
I imagine the singing and the kneeling make an impression on the children as standing out in the service, the bulk of which consists of preaching.
Children are included in church service and while sometimes they need a snack or a toy to keep them occupied, even the very young ones are well-behaved (if they’re not, they get a trip outside).
For that matter, Amish children are exposed to singing from an early age and they pick it up early. Here is another video shot in an Amish home of even younger tots singing:
Singing is an important part of Amish faith and culture.
Depending on the setting, the songs Amish sing range from solemn German church hymns to upbeat, English-language 4-part religious tunes. If you’re curious, here are five occasions when Amish sing.