Why the Amish gather on Good Friday

My wife and I had the privilege of living among the largest Amish population in the world for most of our adult lives in Holmes Co., Ohio. Scenes like this one were common. The Amish take their religious holidays seriously. Good Friday is one of the most solemn for them. They gather for church, often holding communion that would include foot-washing.

Amish churches are divided by districts and size. Since the Amish meet in homes or barns for their church services, the congregational size is usually kept practical and manageable for the hosting families. That is, each church group is about 100 to 120 people, including children.

Since the Amish rely on horse and buggy for their chief means of local transportation, the distance to church is also an important consideration in forming each church district. As the buggies arrive at the home where the church is being held, Amish men park the buggies, unhitch the horses, and line them up in an orderly fashion in a pasture or barn depending on the weather. The service usually begins at 9 and lasts until 11:30 with a light lunch that follows.

For the Amish, no religious holiday symbolizes the humility they cherish as much as Good Friday. Most do not work on this day, treating it much like they would a Sunday, sacred and joined in community, reflecting on their faith and lifestyle. They take personally the message of Christ on the cross dying for their sins. Being Amish is a culture, a way of life for them. Being Christian is a personal commitment to leading a peaceful lifestyle. As members of the Amish community, Good Friday is the day for them to remember that purpose and commitment.

Writer, photographer, lover of nature. I write about what I encounter along life's wild and wonderful way. I blog at https://brucestambaugh.com/.

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