Tuesday, December 23, 2014


We Amish have communion twice a year.  One is on Good Friday before Easter and the second is the Friday before Christmas.  Our Communion really starts four weeks before, when at church, Bishop Eli advises us that we must make preparation before communion Friday.  This means if we have hurt anyone, done anything to anyone, not forgiven anyone, we must do this two weeks before communion Sunday.  If anyone has any problems they can not handle, they are to see Bishop Eli, which means he is very busy.  Two weeks before Bishop Eli asks if anyone has any problems that have not been taken care of.  If so, communion Friday would be postponed until the problems are taken care of, but I never known for that to happen.

We fast from dinner on Thursday until after Communion on Friday.  Our Communion takes almost all day.  It starts at 9:00 AM in someone's home like all our services. Only members of the church can attend.  Children are not members of the church so can not attend nor outsiders.  We have a regular service with sermons on sinning, forgiveness, love for one another and alike.   After our service, any young folks or adults that are joining our church come forward and are baptized into the church.  They will receive their first communion with us.

When baptism is done, Bishop Eli asks one last time before communion if there are any problems that need to be settled.  Is everyone forgive and have forgiven?  We all answer yes.  Then we have the washing of the feet.  I will wash the feet of the lady sitting next to me and Elmer will wash the feet of the man sitting next to him.  When we are done, the person sitting next to us will wash our feet.  After the feet washing we stand and kiss the person that washed our feet on both cheeks, they do the same for us.  It is to show us humble.

Again there are prayers and sermons on how the Lord died for our sins.  How He has suffered for us and died for us. He also explains that the bread represents Jesus flesh, and the juice His Blood.  Bishop then comes around with the communion which is pieces of flat bread that some of the ladies made and cut before today.  Bishop asks each person if we have forgiven and are forgiven.  When we say yes, he hands us the piece of bread which we eat in front of him and he goes to the next person.  After he has been around to everyone with the bread, he goes around again with the juice.  Some Amish use wine, but we use grape juice.

When Communion is over we thank the Lord for giving us His son and thank Him for dying for our sins.  We pray that we will live the way the Lord wishes us to.  That we are kind to others.  That we will try not to sin again, but know we will because we are sinners. but know that Jesus died for us. He also rose from the dead for us.  We thank and praise the Lord for all He has done for us.

By the time, communion is over, it is time to go home and do milking.  Elmer does the milking and I have a casserole made that I can put it the oven and have ready for dinner.  After dinner we usually discuss the sermons, maybe look up passages and pray.  We go to bed early as it is an exhausting day.

As Sunday before Christmas is a church week this year, we went to church.  Sermons were about the Birth of Jesus.  How our sins are the crucifixion, but when we pray to God and ask for forgiveness, which He gives us, it is like a birth or the rising from the dead. Also, that we must teach our children the true word of the Lord.  That everyone has to have a rebirth.  Be born again.

We fast again on Christmas Day until dinner time.  Christmas Day is going to be at our house.  It looks like it will be my sister, her husband and children, my parents, Elmer's parents plus Elmer and I.  All our children are either going to in-laws or having it at their house.

When Elmer gets up, we pray.  Then he does chores, while I get the dinner going.  When he comes in, we will pray.  I am sure he will read about Jesus' Birth.  People will start arriving around 11:00 AM.  Most are bringing a dish to pass.  When everyone is here, Elmer will pray.  Read about Jesus' Birth.  We will pray.  About noon, we will have dinner.  After dinner, we will open presents.

In the afternoon, I will have pies, cake, candies, and alike out.  We will also have coffee, and tea.  Before the folks leave, we will again pray.  After they leave, Elmer will do chores and I will make dinner usually left overs from dinner.

Second Christmas is at Elmer's parents this year.  Elmer's Mother told us last year that the Lord willing she would hold Second Christmas this year and it would be her last time.  She had done it countless years and it was time that us children took over.  She would bring dishes to pass, help in anyway, but she is almost 80 and this is her last dinner hurrah.

For Christmas she is having Elmer's family, my family, John Sarah's family, and knowing her anyone who happens to stop by.  We are all bringing a dish to pass.  I am bringing the Southern Sweet Potato Recipe and a couple of pies.  I guess that's more than one dish, but I want to her help her out.  Also, Elmer and I will get there right after chores, so I can help her.

When everyone is there, I am sure Elmer's Father will read of Jesus' Birth from the Bible and we will have prayer.  Then we will open presents.  Dinner will be on the table at 12:00 noon.  Not 11:59 or 12:01.  At noon.  That is the way Elmer's Mother is.  We laugh at her, but that's the way she has always done.  Elmer's Father will say a prayer before dinner.  Dinner is turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, dressing, vegetables, salads, homemade bread, homemade jams and jellies and I don't know what else.  For desert there will be pies, cakes, and cookies.  After dinner Elmer's Father will give a blessing.

After the kitchen cleaning, the adults will have talking.  The children will be outside playing if the weather isn't bad.  If it is they will be playing probably upstairs.  After a while, we will have singing where all the of us including the children sing.  Then she will bring out the rest of the deserts, candies, etc.

Before everyone leaves, Elmer's Father will have a short prayer.  Then we will go home to do chores.  Elmer and John will probably stay to get the house back in some kind of order.  They will back the next day to make sure the furniture is where it should be, etc.  Hannah, Sarah and I will come to make sure the house is all cleaned up and taken care of.

I went on quite long.  I am sure I left some things out, but this is how we celebrate our Christmas.

Also, next week will be my last post for a while.  If anyone has any questions either Elmer or I will answer them or if something comes up, I will come on.  But, I feel that I have said all about herbs and medicine until spring comes.  So I am going to take a break.

Hope you have a Blessed and Merry Christmas,

If you have any sweet potatoes left over or you want to do something different with sweet potatoes, here is another southern recipe I got at Pinecraft.


2 8 inch pie crusts, unbaked
3 cups sweet potatoes, boiled, mashed and peeled (you can use mixer or food processor)
1/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
3 to 4 teaspoons allspice

Preheat you oven to 325 degrees.  Mix all ingredients in mixer or food processor until smooth.  Pour into pie crusts.  Bake until crust is brown, about 45 minutes.  Cool and refrigerate.  Elmer likes it with whip cream on top.


Anonymous said...

Thank you, Anna, for all your great posts. Don't sell yourself short-you have much more to impart to us than you realize. I do so enjoy reading your and Elmer's posts. That goes for everyone who has Marilyn share the posts on her blog.
I do hope all will remember that "it's not about us, it's all about Him". God Bless, Carol

New York State Of Mind said...

Good Morning Carol,

I will see that Anna gets your message. One pin I wear especially this time of year is:"Jesus is the reason for this season."

Blessings to you and yours,

Countryside Reflections said...

Thank you for giving us a glimpse into your Christmas season. It's always inspiring to hear about your family gatherings, singing and prayers.

This is such a busy time and I'm not on the computer too much, but I appreciate all of the recipes that have been shared. I made Jean's Spinach Squares a few days ago, and they were delicious!

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas.


New York State Of Mind said...

Good Morning Doreen,

I will see that Anna gets your message.

Think all of us are on the computer a little less this time of year. Glad you liked Jean's Spinach Squares.

Merry Christmas to you and yours,

Willow's Quiet Corner said...

Anna, thank you for all this insight into how your community lives and celebrates Christmas. I have always been fascinated with how others live their lives and do things. I appreciate hearing how kindly and simply the Amish and Old Order Mennonites live their lives without much of the distractions many of the rest of us have. I think it mush help to focus on the more important things.

The recipes are always appreciated as well. I have been bookmarking them so when I need to make something I have new things to try!

I always appreciate hearing from everyone, Marilyn, Jean, Elmer, Anna, Grandmother Olive and anyone else who choses to share with us.

Merry Christmas to everyone!

(And, Marilyn, I think a little something is on it's way . . . ;) You must have been on Santa's good list this year! :)

New York State Of Mind said...

Hi Willow's Quiet Corner,
I will see that everyone gets your messages.

So happy you like the recipes. It is really kind of hard for Jean and Anna to pick the recipe. They want something that you will enjoy.

We are all so glad you enjoy hearing from us.

Merry Christmas to you, too.

Thank you so much. It is really appreciated and helps very much.


Anonymous said...

Marilyn: I hope Anna doesn't stop posting until spring, but if she needs a break, so be it. Anna inspires me and I really enjoy her posts. I'm sure I speak for all of us who read your blog...we love to read all of the Amish/Mennonite columns! Please tell Elmer, Anna, Jean, children, families and posters that I appreciate their writings. And Marilyn, Thank you for what you do! Carol in SC

New York State Of Mind said...

Hi Carol,

I will see that Anna gets your message. Thank you for the compliments, we try hard to get interesting things that everyone will enjoy. Thank you for coming and caring.