Nonfiction — print. Good Books, 1988. 128 pgs. Received from PaperBackSwap.
I’m quite sure this book wins for longest title. Ironic considering how thin the book is with just under 130 pages. Written by a member of a Plain group — the Old Order River Brethren — the book covers a Lancaster Amish Wedding, Old Order Mennonite Weddings, baptism, selecting a minister in Plain groups, Sunday services, death and a funeral, and briefly discusses holiday celebrations amongst the Amish, Mennonites, and other Plain groups.
Scott introduces each topic through fictional characters set in real locations as he explains the nonfictional organization, execution, and religious ideals of the Plain community at hand during special events.
Particularly of interest to me where what happens at an Amish wedding, how the Amish choose a minister, and the overall differences between the Amish, Mennonites, and other Plain groups during their special occasions. For example, I did not know that the Old Order Brethren do not require baptism in the church before marriage unlike the Amish and Mennonites nor that the Brethren immerse people in water during baptism rather than pouring water on their heads like other Plain groups.
While the book is full of interesting information, one thing about this book that did bother me was that Scott insisted on restating everything that occurs during an Amish wedding, for example, and what’s missing/added when for each other Plain group rather than just stating what’s missing/added. (Kind of hard to explain here, but if you picked up the book you would quickly realize it.)
This book is perfect for those that are interested in the Plain groups, particularly wedding and other special occasion customs (no white wedding dresses!), but I found I knew most of the information pertaining to the Amish from my other readings. The Old Order Mennonites and Brethren were really what’s new to me.