A few weeks ago, an Amish friend in Sugarcreek handed me an invitation to her wedding. I was greatly honored. After I got home, I put the invitation on my refrigerator and it was then that I noticed the wedding was to be held on a Thursday morning at 8:30 A.M.!!!
I attended that wedding last week. It was utterly fascinating, quite beautiful, and there is simply too much to put into one post. However, I did discover the reason for the early morning timing—the Amish are SERIOUS about weddings!!! The “ceremony” went on non-stop until about 12:30 p.m. During this time, the bride and groom and the other four members of the immediate wedding party sat quietly while various ministers took turns preaching. It was all conducted in German. I did, however, catch 5 English words that were enunciated quite clearly by the Amish preachers–possibly for the benefit of the handful of Englisch people there–”Divorce is NOT an option!!”
I asked my friend, later, what other things the ministers were saying. She explained that they were following a traditional course of instruction about God’s plan for marriage. They begin in Genesis and continue on through the book of Job. The speakers take turns working their way through it.
At the end of the four hours of preaching, interspersed with prayer and the singing of ancient hymns, the actual marriage ceremony itself lasted maybe all of two minutes.
The bride was quite beautiful. The groom was handsome.