Thought I would tell about our meetings (church services) on Sunday in answer to some of the questions I received.
We must have all the chores done, breakfast eaten, and be dressed for Sunday meetings. Our meetings start at 9:00 AM on Sunday mornings. Old Order Mennonite has its own meeting building (church building) that we go to every Sunday. It was built and used by another religion many years ago. When Old Order Mennonite first came in this area, they bought the church for meetings. We had planned to build another one, behind this one last summer, but because of building the new school we are waiting on the meetings building. The picture at the top is of our church.
The second picture shows what the interior of our meeting building looks similar to. There are no stained glass windows, crosses or pictures, etc. on our walls. They are plain. Also, there are no carpets, tiles, etc. on the floor-it is wood. Most of us sit on backless seats except we do have a few chairs with backs for the senior adults who might need them. Our songleaders table and minister's bench are not risen like some churches-they are on the same level as our chairs. As this meeting building only has one entrance, the senior men, men and boys enter first. Senior ladies, ladies and the girls enter next. If we had built this church-there would be no steeple at the top like the one we now have and there would be separate entrances for the men and ladies.
Men sit on one side of our meetings, women on the other, boys section is across from the men, girls section is across from the ladies. There is a room where the men put their coats and hats and one for the ladies. Also, is the council room for the Bishop, Deacon and Ministers to put their coats and hats-also where they meet before service. It is also used if one of us wishes to speak with one of them before or after meeting.
Our meeting begins at 9:00 AM with an opening hymn led by our songleader. We have no music. While we are singing our Bishop, ministers, and deacon come in from the council room and are seated. After the first hymn our minister reads a verse or verses from the Bible. Then our deacon advises us of the second hymn. After our second hymn one of our ministers welcomes us and gives us the first sermon-after which we kneel for silent prayer. After our first minister is seated, our Bishop or second minister reads Bible verses and gives our second sermon. When their second sermon is done the Bishop or minister returns to his seat. After second sermon, Bishop, first minister and deacons offer testamonies.Testamonies are an addition, correction or usually agreement with the second sermon. After testamonies we kneel for silent prayer. After prayer, our songleader advises us of the hymn that we sing. Then the minister that gave our second sermon gives Benediction. Afrer Benediction our Bishop says The Lord's Prayer. Then we sing our last hymn. When we are done singing our deacon gives announcements.
After service we like to stand and talk. Usually it's the men together, boys together, girls together and the ladies together. In the spring, summer or fall, it might have been announced the week before of a dinner or picnic at someone's house. Someone just decides they would like to have everyone over so we all bring a dish to pass. We haven't done that at our house very often because we didn't had enough room at our old house, but look forward to having everyone over when we get our new house built. When we stay talking, we do so for about a half hour or so.
Meeting usually lasts about two and a half hours to three hours. Afterwards we talk for about a half hour. If we go to a dinner or picnic we are usually there until about a half hour before milking time so we can get home, change our clothes and do chores before dinner.
We have Communion twice a year. One is on Good Friday and the other is a week or two before Christmas. Our Baptism is held in late October after harvest time. Weddings are held in our homes and can be held any month-but usually after harvest in the fall or winter. Sometimes a wedding is held after meeting, at meeting building, on Sunday - usually it's a senior widow and widower getting married.
You may have heard your Grandparents say they are going to : "Sunday go to meeting". I believe that was taken from our church as we call our Sunday "meeting day" rather than church Sunday. I may be wrong.
I hope you enjoy reading about our Sunday meeting (church service)/
Be with God,
FRIDAY OLIVE WILL BE BACK WITH SOME OF HER CHILDHOOD MEMORIES