Without too much trouble, we found the correct address, pulled into the little farmette, and were greeted by a brown house, a matching brown barn and a temporary structure which was basically trusses and 2x4s with some plywood, covered entirely with greenhouse plastic. We parked among the buggies and empty vans and “church wagons” (which carry the benches, songbooks, etc). The horses had been unhitched and were enjoying lunch around a hay wagon.
Immediately, we were welcomed by the uncles of the bride and ushered into the house and then into the service. Several of the girls on my van had boyfriends accompanying and it became quite the joke that this was obviously a huge deal. Everyone who stopped to chat mentioned “now there are boyfriends along?”
It was a little chilly in the building and I couldn’t imagine how cold everyone must be who’d been there since 8:00.
The language barrier is so frustrating.. The white bearded bishop was talking earnestly about something and crying openly. The congregation was wiping tears. A little blue-eyed girl peered out from under her dad’s bearded and solemnly watched the “English ” folk… I was finally able to locate the bridal party, which were seated on folding chairs facing each other- the groom and his 2 attendants on one side, the bride and her 2 across the aisle from them.. Eventually the couple stood in front of the minister, both with heads bowed and I’m assuming they exchanged vows. They did a very obvious knee bow thing and returned to their seats.
I really don’t think that “knee bow” is the right term here, but it’s something that I THINK I’m starting to remember every time I’m in an Amish service… First you kneel for prayer, and then stand, facing your chair.. and then at one point everyone bends their knees. It looks kinda like a little hop to those of us who may be peeking… I need to remember to research what the cue is to stand.. So many questions..
And the singing is fascinating.. I think the song they sang had 23 verses. The leader sings the first part and everyone joins in and it is amazing, I feel like I’m in Europe during the Reformation era..
The wedding dinner was wonderful! A chicken/dressing mixture, mashed potatoes (which were guilty of distracting this van driver, when the noise of a cordless drill beating them up, reached her ears during the service) and gravy(that had instant coffee in them-for color) stewed celery, coleslaw, jello salad, all sorts of cookies, filled doughnuts and pumpkin torte.
I took the opportunity to ask the men across the table from meal to interpret what was on the bishop’s heart. Apparently in the Apocrypha a man named “Tobias” ?? is thankful that his household belongs to the faithful church of God. And the fact that a daughter had left the church, was causing this man’s pain..
Every one chatted and mingled until the afternoon song service, where the single girls lined up and the boys went down the line and each selected a gal.. (too bad I had been up since 3:00 and HAD to take a nap-lol 🙂 jk)
After the singing, they served yogurt parfaits. Another tradition is that guests bring food gifts e.g: a Tupperware container full of tortilla roll-ups and salsa; a skillet full of meat, cheese and crackers; a bird house full of candy.. All afternoon the couple opens these and sends them around to share with the guests..
Volleyball is ongoing, children run here and there, everyone is friendly and happy… And an army is in the basement preparing the supper.. Roast beef, noodles, glazed carrots, a tossed salad… Same cookie and doughnuts selection, but with vanilla pie, and a mocha torte…
I was very thankful that my gang decided to head out after supper, since we had a 5 hour journey home, but they missed another singing, as well as throwing the groom across the fence. And occasionally, they toss the bride as well- with hopes that he’s a good catch..!!
There were several reasons this wedding was special to me… One of the uncles had worked for our family before he was killed in a farming accident in 07, and we’ve been friends with the family for years… My parents were invited and it worked out for Mother to accompany me.. (The Mother of the Bride wondered if she would help with supper, hence the recipe..) And I LOVE studying different cultures, and this event was like a cultural smorgasbord..
As I drove through the snow flurries, with most of my gang sleeping , I had lots of things to ponder… Life… Death… Traditions… Love… No matter what your cultural background is- there are lots of things that are universal…
Blessings on your week,
Glazed Baby Carrots
2 lbs baby carrots cook tender crisp in salt water, drain
6 Tablespoons butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons ranch powder
Drizzle glaze over carrots and serve