Old Order Amish

Figure 1.--This photo was taken on a Sunday during a worship meeting on a Pennsylvania Amish farm. Their services are very long and the children are sometimes allowed to have a break. Here five little boys are in front of the barn where the worship meeting is underway. They are wearing their black Sunday suits with white shirts. For young children, bare feet are appropiate also in formal occasions. These boys are wearing straw hats. Older boys would have worn black hats.

Old Order Amish is one part of the extended Amish-Mennonites community, often described as the strictest Amish order. They are notable for their nonconformist attitudes and staunch resistance to social change and technology. The most obvious differences are worship in private homes, a strictly rural life style, a horse-and-buggy culture avoiding machinery, a dialect of the German language, and 'plain' clothes like that of European peoples in the 19th century. They oppose education for their children beyond primary school which has resultedcin disputes with state authorities. They do not sponsor most organized church activity, including organized missionary work and evangelic effort. Unlike other Amish, thec Old Order has been especially reistantbto technology. They do not own cars, telephones and cell phones, television, and computers. They do notvuse electrical devices in general. Other Amish often accept technologybif itvhas oractucal aplications. The Old Order are much more resistant tobtechnology. Some Old Order communities do not even use tractors which are used by most other Amish. Only the Old Order Mennonites, the Old Colony Mennonites, and the Hutterites to some extent share these views and religious practices. Sunday meetings are especially destinctive. The Old Order Amish have no meeting houses. The Sunday worships take place on individual family farms. The families rotate hosting the sunday meetings. Each district has a maximum of 40 families. Larger groups divude. The district have sunday worship meetings. services every two weeks. On the sunday with out axservice, families often attend searvices in another district. The benches and the songs books are property of the district and are moved for each sunday service. The sunday worship services are quite extended. Services begin with an hour if communal singing. This is followed by the first sermon which usually lasts about an half hour. Then comes silent prayer, Bible reading, the second sermon (often more than an hour), and finally concluding prayers. The entire services last about 3 1/2 to 4 hours. This is quite a long time for children to sit still. The children are sometimes allowed to take a break. After the services, the host family provides a meal for the congregation.


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Created: 8:38 PM 2/20/2012
Last updated: 8:38 PM 2/20/2012