Friday, April 25, 2014

V ~ Vows

Amish take vows very seriously. 

The first vow made happens on the day of baptism.

There are four questions that are asked including this one:

Do you also promise before God and His church that you will support these teachings and regulations (Ordnung) with the Lord’s help, faithfully attend the services of the church and help to counsel and work in it, and not to forsake it, whether it leads you to life or to death?

It is the one vow that they keep reminding us of after we chose to leave the Amish.

For most, the next set of vows made will be on their wedding day.

Groom and bride are asked, "Can you both confess and believe that God has ordained marriage to be a union between one man and one wife, and do you also have the confidence that you are approaching marriage in accordance with the way you have been taught?"
They will answer, "Yes."
The groom, "Do you also have confidence, brother, that the Lord has provided this, our sister as a wife for you?"
He will answer, "Yes."
The bride is asked, "Do you also have the confidence, sister, that the Lord has provided this, our brother as a husband for you?"
She will answer, "Yes."
The groom is asked, "Do you also promise your wife that if she should in bodily weakness, sickness, or any similar circumstances need your help, that you will care for her as is fitting for a Christian husband?"
He will answer, "Yes."
The bride is asked, "Do you promise your husband the same thing, that if he should in bodily weakness, sickness, or any similar circumstances need your help, that you will care for him as is fitting for a Christian wife?"
She will answer, "Yes."
Both are then asked, "Do you both promise together that you will with love, forbearance, and patience live with each other, and not part from each other until our loving God will separate you by death?"
They will answer, "Yes."

Divorce does not happen as long as both are Amish. Once in a while one of them, most often the husband feels led to leave the Amish, the community does everything in their power to get the wife to break her wedding vows and stay Amish in order to not break the much more important vow she made at baptism.

They tried their best to make me see it their way when we chose to leave, thankfully it didn't work.

29 comments:

  1. At what age does baptism take place? The vow is quite a commitment.

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  2. WOW !!! The vows we all have taken of some sort, and, the heart wrenching, difficult decision for you both to decide to break away from, in order to live in and under our Heavenly Fathers love and GRACE !! Thank God you both know the truth and what it takes to be in heaven someday .... But, STILL so difficult to break away from your family and friends you left behind in your community. Couldn't be easy on either of you I am sure .. I know you have peace ,joy, and most of all contentment, in your new Christian life. We know the truth and what is expected of us as Christians.
    I really respect you Mary Ann, and the testimony you share.Truly amazing. May each day of yours be blessed in mighty big ways.
    Thank you for sharing, and sending love and hugs to you.

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    1. It was difficult leaving the only life we had known, but we have no regrets that we left. God is good!

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  3. The Bible says that when a man and woman get married they become one flesh. It is interesting that it is encouraged that the bond that God has established should be forsaken for a vow made up by men. Thanks and have a great day!

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    1. This is what happens when the focus is on the church, instead of Jesus and the Bible.

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    2. Wonderfully said!

      This is a very fun series and I love learning new things!

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  4. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your posts about the Amish and I am looking forward to visiting often :) Thank you so much for sharing!

    Also, the quilt you made is incredibly beautiful! Blessings to you!

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    1. Glad you are enjoying this series, and you're welcome to visit as often as you like. :)

      I was happy how the quilt turned out.

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  5. This has been a deeply interesting series. Thank you so much.

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    1. You're welcome! glad you are enjoying it.

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  6. This is really interesting. It sounds like the vows the Amish take at baptism are similar to the vows Catholics and Episcopalians take at confirmation (since both churches have infant baptism, it's really the parents who are taking vows at the baptism - the children don't take vows of their own until confirmation). I think it's unfortunate that those vows often are taken too early (just in my view). There's a pretty significant difference among Catholic/Episcopal dioces - some will let 13-year-old take the confirmation vows, while others require that the kids be at least 15.

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    1. I too think a child should not be making vows like this.

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    2. I would prefer that the church (whatever church) not accept these vows until the person is 18 to 21 - at least be an adult, where there's less chance you're doing it just because your parents/relatives/community want you to do it. In my state, you can't enter into a legal (civil) contract until you're 18 - surely a religious commitment is more important (not to me, since I don't have any religiion, but to reliigious people?)

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    3. I would prefer that the church (whatever church) not accept these vows until the person is 18 to 21 - at least be an adult, where there's less chance you're doing it just because your parents/relatives/community want you to do it. In my state, you can't enter into a legal (civil) contract until you're 18 - surely a religious commitment is more important (not to me, since I don't have any religiion, but to reliigious people?)

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  7. This is really interesting. It sounds like the vows the Amish take at baptism are similar to the vows Catholics and Episcopalians take at confirmation (since both churches have infant baptism, it's really the parents who are taking vows at the baptism - the children don't take vows of their own until confirmation). I think it's unfortunate that those vows often are taken too early (just in my view). There's a pretty significant difference among Catholic/Episcopal dioces - some will let 13-year-old take the confirmation vows, while others require that the kids be at least 15.

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  8. Thank you for sharing this with us Mary Ann. I know the decision to leave couldn't have been an easy one with all of the ramifications of such a choice. But to serve our living Lord with all of your hearts is well worth the sacrifice that was made.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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    1. You're right. It has been, still is, and I'm sure will continue to be worth the sacrifice.

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  9. Your answer above "This is what happens when the focus is on the church, instead of Jesus and the Bible." hits the nail right on the head. Excellent!!

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  10. Applause for this interesting blog theme during the #Challenge. Well done! As an author I admire your Life With Lily series that I know has taken dedication, time, creativity and your heart.

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  11. Well, it isn't only Episcopalians and Catholics that confirm youngsters in their early teens. So do Lutherans, and there are two years of instruction! If nothing else, those kids know what they are getting into. At least Lutherans and Episcopalians (having been both) are only required to "forsake the devil, and when you sin repent and return to the Lord, love God with all your heart, and respect the dignity of every human being". There's a bunch of other stuff, but that gives you the gist of it, and you don't want the entire Book of Common Prayer! We don't swear allegiance to any particular denomination. Only the Lord.

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    1. I was confirmed at 11. We leave primary school before the age of 12 and many are church schools, because the church was the first to offer free education to children in England, but few high schools have a direct church connection. We were all encouraged to attend confirmation classes after school for 6 months to make sure we went into the 'right' church, and then to be confirmed before the summer break.
      We might just as well have been practicing multiplication tables as we learnt to gabble the creeds and passages of the Bible and Book of Common prayer and it meant little more to us than vowing to get up every morning when we made profound religious promises we didn't understand. Quite ridiculous of the Anglican church to do this just to keep us in the flock - especially as many were not from Anglican families but attended the school as it was the only one for several miles.

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    2. My experience was like yours. Did we know what we were getting into? We knew our parents said, "It's time for you to be confirmed, so you have to go to confirmation class." It didn't occur to us to say no, because we knew how much trouble we'd be in if we did. Those vows were completely meaningless.

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    3. My experience was like yours. Did we know what we were getting into? We knew our parents said, "It's time for you to be confirmed, so you have to go to confirmation class." It didn't occur to us to say no, because we knew how much trouble we'd be in if we did. Those vows were completely meaningless.

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  12. Thank you so much for following my blog! I've really been enjoying reading over yours. You have a very sweet way of writting things that just makes me smile!
    ~Sarah~
    http://allthingsvintage-sc.blogspot.com/

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  13. Your alphabetical guide to Amish-ness is very interesting. I learned a lot by reading through it..

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  14. Thanks again for more insight into the Amish world. I would love to hear more about your decision to leave and how it has affected you. It must have taken great courage.

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