Here are a few facts we learned while visiting and eating with the Amish, remember each Amish area is different and this is how it is in Northern Indiana.
Shunning: if a child is not baptized into the Amish church and leaves the Amish they are not shunned but if they were baptized and leave they are shunned until they join any church and bring a letter from the pastor that they are active in the church then they are not shunned any longer. They just want them to still seek the Lords guidance even if it is not in an Amish church.
If shunned they can still see their family but if they sat down to a meal they would be the last one to take food from the serving bowls and after that no Amish would be able to take food from that bowl.
English attending Amish churches: If I wanted to attended an Amish church service I could do that. They would have someone sit with me and write notes to help me understand what they were talking about. Most of the service is in German with some English. Children learn German and then when they go to school they learn English. So to introduce them to some English the service has some English in it so they can get used to it.
Getting married: The bride chooses the color of her dress and the color of the mothers dresses. Jane's dress was a dark blue with the mothers dresses a lighter shade of blue. The servers colors were also chosen by the bride. There are 3 to 4 meals served on the wedding day. The noon meal is for the family and those that were the witnesses for the bride and groom. A meal at 5 pm is for the cooks, servers, friends, family who were unable to attend the service and any English friends. Then at 7 pm another meal is served for the brides and grooms young friends and there is a lot of singing that goes on at this point. Then if there are some that were not able to attend any of the other 3 meals a meal is served about 9 pm. Darrell and Jane had 3 meals with a little over 1000 people who were served. Between the noon meal and the 5 pm meal they open gifts and visit with family. No rings are exchanged, for the man his symbol of marriage is that he grows a beard and for the lady she must now wear an apron with her dress every day. The apron can be the same color of the dress or it can be white.
Funerals: This is the only time where everyone must wear black clothing. The widow usually wears black for an entire year but the amount of time is not dictated but suggested.
Divorce: They do not believe in divorce but if it happens the person who initiates the divorce must leave the Amish church and the other person may not remarry unless the one who initiated the divorce dies. In the Amish church unless death occurs you are always married to that person so that is why you cannot remarry.
There were other things talked about but these are some that stand out with me.