Opening, a colloquial expression used in many Mennonite (Mennonite Church) and Amish congregations in America for the introductory part of a regular Sunday morning worship service, usually called in German "Einleitung" but sometimes "Eröffmung." It included the reading of a portion of Scripture with comments, sometimes brief, sometimes longer, followed by the call to prayer, a prayer which was formerly always kneeling and silent and in 1959 still was among the Lancaster Conference Mennonites and certain other eastern congregations and the Old Order Amish. The choice of the minister to "make the opening" is made by the assembled ministry in the ministers' anteroom of the meetinghouse, who then after prayer proceed in a body to the bench behind the pulpit. The Amish ministers gather in an upper room to make this decision.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 71. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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APA style: Bender, Harold S. (1959). Opening. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/O713.html.