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Surplice Fees (German, Stolgebühren) are the fees which had to be paid to the clergy of the state church for the official services rendered. In Prussia the Mennonites were obliged to pay them for weddings and funerals, without having claimed the services of the clergy. After tedious negotiations and all sorts of legal arrangements (edict of 30 July 1789, Mennonite Law of 12 June 1874, and the decision of the imperial court of 8 October 1885) a permanent release from these payments was secured in relatively recent times.


Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: v. IV.

Mennonitische Blätter (1887): 4 and 11.

Mannhardt, W. Die Wehr-freiheit der Altpreussischen Mennoniten. Marienburg, 1863: 139, 155 and 190.

Date Published 1959

Cite This Article

MLA style

, . "Surplice Fees." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 29 May 2016.

APA style

, . (1959). Surplice Fees. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 29 May 2016, from

Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 664. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.

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