Rites of the
Catholic Church

Rites of Anabaptism

The Anabaptist movement is split into numerous organizations and scattered over a wide area. Both factors contribute to the emergence of regional and congregational differences.
The two rites central to the Anabaptist community are ADULT BAPTISM - the baptised making the voluntary decision to join the Anabaptist community and to follow their strict discipline, and the EUCHARIST (communion). Anabaptist services consist of hymns, prayers and extensive sermons, baptisms being simple acts performed at the end of the service, as is the eucharist, which is, in some congregations, episodically rather than regularily part of the service. Anabaptist services vary in length, some lasting 3 hours; such rather long services contain usually two sermons.
Anabaptist communities do have the rite of ordaining priests; as Anabaptist communities rejected higher education, these priests were of simple background, out of their own midst. Priesthood was not essential, as their functions could be taken on by laymen.

Anabaptist communities do not have churches, but simple meeting halls, the interior of which is simple, plain, unornated. In case of the AMISH, descendants of immigrants from Germany and Switzerland who emigrated to Pennsylvania around 1700, the community meets on a different farm every week, the religious meeting followed by a common meal which also serves as a social event.
During the religious service, hymns are sung, without being accompanied by organ music; the hymns are printed in a book titled "Der Ausbund".

The Anabaptists celebrate the main christian holydays (Christmas, Easter, Pentecost), celebrations being of very simple manner. Most congregations do not observe any specifically Anabaptist holydays.

REFERENCE Steven M. Nolt, A History of the Amish, Intercourse : Good Books 1992

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First on January 13th 2003, last revised on November 15th 2004

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