Amish mule

Did You Know (Part II)? By Laura Bradford

It’s time for some more “Did You Know?” Facts!

Church Service:

In Lancaster County, the Sunday church sermon and hymns are spoken/sung in High German. Children learn High German in third grade (at home, before reaching school age, they are taught Pennsylvania Dutch—which is actually German).

When they “sing” in church it is without instruments and notes. They learn the hymns through repetition and they are passed down from generation to generation. Side note: a single hymn can sometimes last as long as thirty minutes.

Amish high german hymnal

Bench time:

This is an Amish bench, it is what the Amish sit on for Sunday church services, weddings, and funerals. They are transported via a bench wagon.

Amish bench

Table time:

After the 3 ½ hour service (8 a.m. to 11:30) the benches are converted into tables for the lunch meal (usually cold, simple things people can bring to share). Three benches are placed side by side and elevated via a special bracket to serve as a table.

Amish table

Around the Farm:

In Lancaster County, the Amish tend to use mules in the fields. They can go longer without breaks and they are more powerful. Horses are used in the fields on occasion, too, but they generally pull the buggies. Mules are too slow to pull buggies.

Amish mule

Any questions? Comments? Facts you’ve learned you’d like to share?


Laura Bradford is the national bestselling author of the Amish Mysteries, a cozy mystery series set in Lancaster County. The sixth book in the series, Just Plain Murder, is now available. Her next Amish-based women’s fiction novel, A Daughter’s Truth, will release on May 28. For more information: www.laurabradford.com


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