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By John Andrew Hostetler

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Blue is a typical color for a bride's dress. On the wedding day a regular church service is held Page 30 which begins in the morning and ends at noon. The couple is attended by a bridal party of two unmarried couples, usually their own younger siblings. The bishop performs the marriage ceremony near the close of the service. After the formal service the invited guests are seated at tables for the wedding meal. The bridal party is seated at the ''corner" which is loaded with special cakes and goodies.

Even within a single community there is variation among families in the orderliness of their farms and their grooming. Well-bred horses, spacious and orderly farm buildings, many varieties of flowers in the house and garden, and decorative china in the corner cupboard are traditional symbols of success. In spite of a high level of homogeneity, some family lines acquire a reputation for industry and others for their lack of it. The Joys and Satisfactions The greatest joys in Amish life occur during early childhood and during the mature years.

In some respects the Amish are a little commonwealth, for their members are ruled by the law of love and redemption. They are highly sensitive to each other's needs. They will move to other lands rather than take up arms or defend themselves. Page 4 A Redemptive Community The Amish view themselves as a Gemeinde, a corporate community, where the ethical teachings of Jesus are practiced. The love of God requires an appropriate response. The Amish do not believe that doing good deeds will get them to heaven, yet without such attributes they believe ultimate meaning is impossible.

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Amish Life by John Andrew Hostetler


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