Amish dating practices

In doing so, candidates make a confession of faith and agree to comply with the order of the Amish community, or the Ordnung, an unwritten tradition that spells out expected behaviors and regulations.

Church members who break the commitment and refuse to repent and confess their sins are excommunicated and "shunned." The Pennsylvania Amish try to persuade the wayward to cooperate with the church, but those who continue to be disobedient must be banned from fellowship in order to maintain the purity of the church.

Due to limited space, men and women eat in shifts, oldest through youngest, and usually in separate rooms.

The meal may consist of coffee, bread, "church spread" (a combination of peanut butter and marshmallow), jam, apple butter, red beets, pickles, cheese, and sometimes snitz (dried apple) pie. Well over 400 years old, the Ausbund is one of the most famous and important books to the Pennsylvania Amish.

Hymns are sung from the Ausbund, a special hymnal used by the Pennsylvania Amish.

There are usually three to seven preachers and bishops at a service.

In order to accommodate religious services of up to 150 people in homes, each church district owns a bench wagon full of backless benches, which are transported from house to house for the three-hour services.

The Amish men and women usually sit in separate sections for church itself.

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The Amish church service is an act of worship, a preservation of tradition, a renewal of faith, and an affirmation of community.It may take as long as 15 minutes to do three stanzas, and for this reason entire hymns are not always sung.Perhaps the most amazing aspect of Amish singing is the fact that the hymnal contains no musical notation.Deacons are chosen by lot as well, and bishops from among the ministers.Becoming a minister is not viewed as an honor, but rather as a serious and heavy responsibility.Therefore, the tone of many hymns is one of great sorrow, loneliness or protest against the world of wickedness.Hymns at a religious service are sung in German, with no organ or musical accompaniment, and in unison with no harmonizing.Common religious scripture themes include leading a right life in the eyes of the Lord; resurrection; and the idea of "judge not that ye be not judged." Scriptures are followed by brief minister messages, prayer and more song.After the religious service concludes, the rooms are cleared of people and some of the benches are converted into tables so that a light lunch can be served.The Ausbund is important for many reasons, but most notably for the religious tradition that it preserves.The core of the book consists of about 50 hymns written mostly by 16th century German Anabaptists, many imprisoned in castle dungeons for their religious beliefs.

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