Some of the important characteristics of the Mennonite faith are strict pacifism, a plain lifestyle, shunning oaths, and commitment to social justice. The Amish are often mistaken for Mennonites. They are a distinct group that broke away from the Mennonites in the late 17th century.
For the more modern Mennonites, dress is not an issue. The only standard is that women are encouraged to dress modestly, and persons interpret that differently. Women wear slacks and jeans as well as dresses. In the summer, you would find many wearing shorts.
During the last 100 years, the church considered the consumption of alcohol to be a sin. But that “marker” is passing away. While a large majority of us—probably 75 percent by now—accepts some use, we honor those for whom the consumption of alcohol continues to be “always wrong.”
Unlike the Amish, Mennonites are not prohibited from using motorized vehicles. In addition, Mennonites are also allowed to use electricity and telephones in their homes. When it comes to their beliefs, the Amish and Mennonite faiths are very similar. The differences lie mainly in the outward practice of those beliefs.
The Markham-Waterloo Mennonites, although still dressing in the traditional style, allow car ownership and telephones. Their more progressive attitudes toward technology led to tensions and a split from the Old Order Mennonites. Today, they cautiously use cell phones and computers, but not televisions or radios.
Historically, Mennonites were forbidden to marry non-Mennonites and, in some cases, members of other Mennonite groups. Presently, only the more conservative ones proscribe marriage outside the group.
Traditionally, Mennonites sought to continue the beliefs of early Christianity and thus practice the lovefeast (which includes footwashing, the holy kiss and communion), headcovering, nonresistance, the sharing of possessions and nonconformity to the world; these things are heavily emphasized in Old Order Mennonite and ...
Mennonites, unlike Mormons, don't wear undergarments designed to confer a special holy feeling.
Mennonites do not have any dietary restrictions as exist in some other religious groups. Some conservative Mennonites abstain from alcohol, but other Mennonites do not, with Mennonite distilleries existing as early as the late 16th century.
The 1963 Mennonite Confession of Faith stated that marriage should be a monogamous, heterosexual lifetime commitment. The Christian home should have regular family worship.
Some churches (not all necessarily Mennonite) take these passages to heart, and greet one another with a kiss on the cheek, much as anyone else would greet another person with a hug or handshake. This tends to occur in the more conservative Mennonite churches, and was more prevalent in the past.
The doctrines of nonconformity to the world, church discipline, nonswearing of oaths, and nonresistance (a Mennonite teaching based on New Testament ethics that rejects both war and the use of coercive measures to maintain social order) are affirmed but not practiced universally.
This is according to the Amish belief that women shouldn't draw attention to themselves, which is why they don't wear makeup or jewelry.
The women of the Holdeman Mennonite community in California wear a cape-dress that has a high neckline, loose bodice and fitted waist. The cape of the dress covers the shoulders and bust. Because of religious reasons, no (or only minor) adornment of the dress is allowed.
Mennonites can and do watch TV, although it is not encouraged by the church. Many households don't have a television set, but will watch TV on occasion (e.g., to see major sporting events).
Amish women swim in a different location from men, but because they tend to wear long dresses, the activity would be better characterized as wading. Some Mennonite women might wear shorts and T-shirts or even one-piece swimsuits because their churches are the most modern of the sects, at least in some ways.
Amish and Mennonites
According to Steven Nolt, a professor of Anabaptist studies at Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania, most of these groups “discourage or completely prohibit mixed-gender swimming.” For this reason, they will often swim in more secluded places as opposed to public beaches.
every woman praying or prophesying with her head unveiled dishonoreth her head”. The caps also symbolized a woman's submission to her husband, as head of the household. A woman was expected to cover her head, and a man was considered to be 'dishonoring' his own head if he did cover it.
Although coffee roasting is a rather unusual business in the Amish and Mennonite community, there is a growing interest. “Specialty coffee is on the rise everywhere, and Amish and Mennonites do like quality things,” Weston says.
Old Colony Mennonites, like the Old Order Amish, do not officially allow birth control practices.
Female Amish wash their hair and wear it in a bun. As for makeup, Amish women aren't allowed to wear cosmetics or adornments considered worldly. This includes lipstick, mascara, eye shadow, and jewelry.
Divorce has not permitted among the Anabaptists and Mennonites from the earliest times to the mid-20th century except for the cause of adultery, in accordance with the Biblical standard as found in Matthew 19:9, although separation (either legal or privately arranged) was generally allowed.
The LGS Mennonites use funeral directors but carefully choose ones who are respectful of their traditions and beliefs. Some LGS Mennonite groups prefer to dig their own graves and lower the coffin by hand. After the service, a faspa or afternoon meal is shared by members of the deceased.
After a string of incidents involving Mennonites who stayed up to the unseemly hour of seven or eight, a new Steinbach bylaw requires that all Mennonites be in bed with the lights out by 6:30 PM. “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a Mennonite healthy, wealthy, and wise,” said city counsellor Abe Fast.