Amish Principles for Today's Families
7/16/13 at 05:51 PM 1 Comments

Plain Talk about the Amish: A Woman's Prayer Cap

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"It may be difficult to wait on the Lord, but it is worse to wish you had." Amish proverb

(C) Bill Coleman/

Mary Miller is a thin, attractive Amish woman of 46, a mother to eight children born within a span of eleven years. During the day, Mary wears a starched white organza prayer cap over her tightly pinned hair bun. In the night, she wears another covering. Why does she wear a head covering at night? “In case I wake up in the night and need to pray,” Mary explains in a tone that suggests it should be quite obvious. “And with eight children, I do. Often.”

Religion is 24/7 for the Amish. Everything they do, especially the manner in which they dress, is based upon their faith. Their simple clothing—a tradition of the Amish and the reason they are also called thePlain People—is a tangible reminder that they are a people set apart, belonging to the Lord. The Kapp or “head cap,” worn by every woman and even by infants, might be the most symbolic garment of all. As girls become young teens, they start to wear the cap: black for Sunday dress and a white cap at home. After marriage a white cap is always worn. The style and size of caps can vary among church districts, but it is essentially the same cap as that worn by the Palatine women of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Back in those days, the Amish were perceived as radicals.

But to a modern world, the Amish still seem radical.

This excerpt is taken with permission from Amish Values for Your Family (Revell), a book that invites you into Amish farmhouses for a hearty meal, to explore the topic of rearing children who are “in the world but not of it” (John 17:16).

Suzanne Woods Fisher is a bestselling author of books about the Old Order Amish for Revell Books. She has a free downloadable app, Amish Wisdom, for iPhone or Android, that delivers a daily Amish proverb. She lives with her family in the San Francisco Bay Area. You can find Suzanne on-line at

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