Thursday, April 3, 2014

C ~ Church

Church was held every other week, and while most Amish churches are held in homes, the Amish in Somerset County use meeting houses.
 Shutters are closed during the week, and opened Sunday mornings for services.

Unfinished wooden benches. I was always thankful for the backs, instead of the backless benches most Amish use.
  Arriving at church Mom and I went inside while Daddy and the boys went out to the barn with the rest of the menfolk until it was time for services to begin. Once everyone had filed in and was seated at their regular spot, men on the right, women on the left, boys on the first four benches in the middle and the girls on the  three remaining benches it was time for services to begin.
  Two or three slow church songs were sung (taking up to 20 minutes per song) while the ministers went into a little room to pray and discuss what ever it was they were supposed to. Next came the preaching of two sermons and a scripture reading, and then the 15 minute prayer where I tried to keep my knees from creaking.   Another slow song and church was over and we could visit with our friends until it was time to go home.


Betsy said...

Thank you for this glimpse into he procedures that are followed in church. A far cry from most churches of today isn't it? And to think that people complain if services go one minute past the alloyed one hour sometimes!

DBritzius said...

Amazing to see how much time Amish puts into their worship services. Separated by gender too. Hard to wrap our head around this lifestyle as what we have outside of their beliefs.

Court Culver said...

So I guess the church is only open a few hours every other week. It is not open for anything else? Do weddings take place only on Sundays that there is church?

Elizabethd said...

Thank you for this glimpse into Amish worship. I wonder if our churches here could cope with hard wooden seats and long songs!

Rhonda Parrish said...

Wow. 20 minute songs? That would make for a looong service. I'm impressed by the stamina required LOL

Miss Debbie said...

Interesting. When I think about the things some people complain about, they would never make it through a service like that!

lifeaftercaregiving said...

I was wondering the same thing as Court Culver. It's hard to imagine the church being shuttered and locked for two weeks at a time. Our little church has something going on all the time.

Teresa said...

20 minutes per song? And we think songs that last more than 3 minutes are long! :) Thanks for insight into an Amish Sunday service.

Mackenzie said...

It makes sense to me that you call it a meeting house. That's what we call them too in Quakerism, and your pictures look very familiar, though I think most of the benches I've seen have been rubbed with tung oil or linseed oil (or maybe it's just 100 years of hands rubbing them). Some of our older meeting houses still have a hip-height wall between the men's side and the women's side, though--at least in the liberal branch of Quakerism--we sit mixed nowadays.

Do you have two separate doors for entering the men's side and the women's side too?

A Joyful Chaos said...

The only time the church is open other than every two weeks for church is if there is a wedding or funeral.

Men enter the door at the back of the meeting house, women enter the two doors by the front porch.

Sharon Himsl said...

Thanks for opening your world to us. Interesting the sexes are divided, although I'm not surprised. Has anything changed in the church today, or do they strictly follow old tradition?