Skip to content

What Do the Amish Do on Sundays?

The Amish are one of the best-known subcultures in the United States, renowned for their refusal of modern conveniences in the name of living a simple, modest life. 

They're especially known for being hardworking, and they often have a reputation for craftsmanship and quality in areas where they work. 

But this brings up a big question for a lot of people: What do the Amish do on Sundays?

In Christianity -- and most of the Western world -- Sunday is viewed as a day of rest and time off from work. 

The Amish share this viewpoint.

However, they don't simply relax. 

In this blog, we'll cover the three main activities that the Amish do on Sundays. 

1. Attend Church (at Someone's House)


Every other Sunday, the Amish have a standing church service that doubles as a community get-together. 

Church services are held at a community family's home -- there are no actual Amish "churches" -- that is typically on a large farm. 

The community gathers in a large room for a service consisting of hymns, devotional readings, and sermons, among other typical church events. 

Afterward, the community typically stays at the same home to enjoy recreational time together. 

This can consist of meals, conversation, meetings with community elders, and recreation. On "church Sundays," it's common to see pastures of Amish land lined with volleyball nets with as many as six games happening all at once. 

These events are for more than just fun, though. As a highly-insular subculture, the Amish have a vested interest in keeping their families and communities healthy from generation to generation. 

So these get-togethers can also double as the beginnings or continuations of courtships between an Amish man and woman. 

(The Amish don't recognize non-heterosexual, non-binary identities.)

 Aside from that, these Sundays are times to maintain and grow community bonds that bring everyone closer together. 

But this is only for 26 Sundays of the year. What about the other 26?

2. Rest with Family


On Sundays when the Amish aren't at church, they often have a mini-service in their own home with their own family. 

These services may not be as extensive, intense, or planned as community services, but they're intended to maintain the faith of a family and build family bonds. 

They may also include time for the family to do fun things together, particularly the children of a family who are still in school and may not work yet. 

In other words, these "off Sundays" are usually smaller versions of "church Sundays." The Amish still rest, but perhaps not together as one big community. 

It's important to note that neither of these Sundays are used for Amish weddings. Those are their own events, and they're reserved for Thursdays in November when the harvest is over, it's too early to plant, and winter is on the horizon. 

(But that's a topic to explore in another blog.)

However, as anyone with a plan can tell you, things don't always go the way you think they will. 

That's they there's one other way that some Amish may spend their Sundays. 

3. Work (Rarely)


Sometimes, the demand and work required for a certain job -- usually farming -- just can't get done in six days. 

In situations like that, an Amish person or family may choose to work on a Sunday simply to continue to make ends meet. 

This is exceptionally rare, and while it may be tolerated in an Amish community, it's never openly endorsed. 

And for as rare as it is, it's even more rare for this to take place on a "church Sunday."

That's because community is a foundational concept to the Amish. A local community looks out for one another financially, medically, and in a variety of other ways. 

Keeping in touch and seeing each other face-to-face is vital to the community's continued survival and growth. 

Although some Amish may find other ways to keep in touch -- like emails, chats, or other digital methods usable on iPads -- the bulk of community interaction happens in person. 

Want to Learn More about the Amish?

Sign up for our newsletter! 

We regularly write about the Amish, Mennonites, and Lancaster, PA. 

If you want to hear more from us, just click the button below.