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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.

Author(s) Harold S Bender
Date Published 1959

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MLA style

Bender, Harold S. "Opening." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 2 Jul 2020.

APA style

Bender, Harold S. (1959). Opening. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 2 July 2020, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 71. All rights reserved.

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