Saturday, July 31, 2010


Two weeks after "ordnungs" church we once again packed our lunches and headed to church for another all day service. Once again they touched on all the sermon points that they had the previous service but after several hours they started with the birth and life of Jesus followed by his crucifixion and resurrection. At three o'clock it was finally time to to partake of communion.

The bishop read a part of scripture and asked everyone to stand while he blessed the bread. All the children sat down as the members remained standing and bishop walked from person to person breaking off a small piece of bread. As the member received he/she would bend their knees slightly and sit down while placing the piece of bread in their mouth.

I used to enjoy watching everyone and felt a little nervous that I would now have to be a part of this important event. All the men got their piece of bread first then the boys and the women. I wished we girls wouldn't have had to stand there the longest with everyone watching.

Once they were finished with the bread the bishop returned to his seat and asked everyone to stand while he prayed a prayer of thanks for the bread we had received and blessed the grape juice. One of the ministers poured a big thick mug full of juice and the bishop took the first swallow and handed it to one of the ministers who took a swallow and then went from person to person giving everyone a swallow. The other minister would come and refill  the mug when ever it became empty.

By the time it was my turn the mug was all sticky and gross with multiple streams of juice that trickled down the side of the mug from all the people who had already had their swallow. I quickly took my swallow and handed the mug back as I sat down.

Once they were done with the grape juice everyone stood again while the minister read a little prayer of thanks. Then it was time to sing the last song and wash each others feet. The ministers brought in two pails for the men and boys while their wives brought in two more pails for the women and girls. Once the feet washing was done it was time to give Alms. One of the ministers would stand behind a door and everyone took turns going out and handing him a little bit of money.

My first communion was over and the bishop remarked that all those that had been recently baptized were now considered to truly be a full member now. I still didn't feel any different but I had enough other things to fill my thoughts that I pushed everything concerning church to the back of my mind.


  1. I don't know whether I expected to grow wings or something but I didn't feel any different after being confirmed either.

  2. I am surprised the children were there during communion. In our community children hardly ever attended Ordnungs or Communion Services... normally they were watched by the teenage young women, who also did not attend until they were baptized. It's so interesting to discover the differences from one Amish community to the next...

    Thank you for your post. As always, I look forward to the next one...

  3. In Holmes County the children and all those who were not members stayed at home, except for nursing babies and a few women would take a 2 or 3 year daughter along. This gave her, the mother a reason to run out every now and then instead of sit on backless benches for hours. We were always served grape wine. It was the deacon's responsibility to make or get the wine and his wife baked the bread.

  4. We receive first communion in second grade - can you imagine being so young and doing something that important??! We received actual wine and I still remember being told we couldn't make a face when we received it. :D That was a great remembrance on your part - I really enjoy reading the way things work in other churches. ♥

  5. What a fascinating inside look at how communion was practiced. As part of a Reformed Church our communion is closed, too, and I don't actually agree with that aspect. And I'm very thankful as I read your account that we all have our own little communion glasses, though. The mug? Shudder.

  6. I think the foot washing in your communion service is beautiful. I wish our church did that!

  7. Don't they even wipe the rim of the cup as they pass it along? I've helped serve communion many, many times, and that's One of The Rules. You use a linen cloth to wipe the spot where the person sipped, and move the chalice around a bit - an eighth of a turn, maybe? - before offering it to the next person. Some people hang on to their bread and dip it into the wine, rather than drinking. And anyone who wishes may come to the altar. What goes on there is between you and God, and nobody has the authority to turn you away.


Thank you so much for taking time to comment. I love hearing your thoughts.