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Donald B. Kraybill, ed. Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993. Various authors discuss Amish religious freedom, education, health care, land use, transportation, and other subjects. ; at People's Place in Intercourse, PA 17534; or at any Provident Bookstore (800 7594447).

Marriage A wedding is an elaborate affair, for the whole community has a stake in the marriage. Since weddings are the most important social events of the year and involve extensive preparations, most are scheduled after the fall harvest work is done. Ninety percent of all Amish marriages in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, occur in November and December. They are celebrated on either a Tuesday or a Thursday. In Amish life there is nothing comparable to formal engagement. When a couple decides to marry, the boy informs the deacon of his church who, as a go-between, obtains the consent of the girl's parents.

Postcards are mailed to distant relatives. The bride and groom wear new garments to their wedding, made in the same style as their best Sunday clothes. Blue is a typical color for a bride's dress. On the wedding day a regular church service is held Page 30 which begins in the morning and ends at noon. The couple is attended by a bridal party of two unmarried couples, usually their own younger siblings. The bishop performs the marriage ceremony near the close of the service. After the formal service the invited guests are seated at tables for the wedding meal.

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