February 10, 2016
From the buggies’ arrival to a fellowship meal after the service, Sunday Church is woven into the fabric of Amish life. Congregations of 25-35 families, at least 100 people, meet in one member’s home every two weeks. (Every Amish familyhosts the service about once a year.) The service of prayer, preaching and music can go for hours, representing both the spiritual and social experiences central to Amish life. If you’ve ever wondered why Amish houses can be so large, it’s partly to provide the room for this very important event. Here’s what you could expect in such a service.
Religious holidays vary by region, but all communities observe Good Friday, Easter, Ascension Day, and Christmas. In Ohio, unlike Pennsylvania Amish, Pentecost is not named an Amish holy day; however, spring communion always falls near that date. Spring communion is coordinated with close-by churches so preachers can attend neighboring district services. Some holidays are observed with partial fasting, such as Good Friday, Ascension Day, Christmas and Old Christmas (January 6), and spring and fall communion. Religious holidays are observed by refraining from normal work and by fellowshipping over a noon meal with extended family. Visit the Amish and Mennonite Heritage Center in Berlin to learn more about all aspects of Amish culture.