Another Word on Weddings in the Mid-Century Brethren in Christ Church

As we have previously observed at the search for piety and obedience, wedding rituals and forms in the Brethren in Christ Church (especially near the mid-century mark) may have differed dramatically between regions. In a previous post on the subject, two readers questioned the accuracy of my observation that ornate flower arrangements would have been anathema to the conservative church in California. But what about other regions of the church, like Kansas or Pennsylvania?

An anniversary announcement in last week’s Abilene Reflector-Chronicle provides yet another opportunity to reflect upon the form of Brethren in Christ wedding ceremonies in the mid-twentieth century.

Compare a photograph of the August 31, 1950, wedding of Henry and Faithe (Book) Landis (below, left) to the previously seen photographs of Brethren in Christ weddings (below, center and right). What similarities can be observed? What differences can be seen? What observations can we make about wedding form in the denomination at this time?

Note: The weddings of Lewis and Gladys (Bowen) Sider and Everett and Adela (Tissot) Byer occurred in Brethren in Christ congregations in California; the wedding of Henry and Faithe (Book) Landis occurred in a Kansas church. One wonders how ceremonies west of the Mississippi River differed from those on the East Coast.

Readers: Share your observations about these photos in the Comments section!

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About Devin Manzullo-Thomas

Father to Lucas. Husband to Katie. Prof and administrator at Messiah College. PhD student at Temple University. Member of Grantham BIC.
This entry was posted in Essays, Photographs and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Another Word on Weddings in the Mid-Century Brethren in Christ Church

  1. Esther Ebersole says:

    I was maid of honor at a wedding in the Palmyra BIC church (PA) on December 7, 1941. It was the first wedding in our church. The bride had asked the bishop if she could have her wedding in the church. His reply was, “If you keep it simple.” And simple it was. Both the bride and I wore street-length cape dresses. Hers was blue and mine was pink. But we did carry bouquets. (My brother teased me about my shaking going down the aisle.) After the wedding we went to Lebanon for pictures at a photographers.

  2. Lela Hostetler says:

    I was the first bride to wear a floor length dress in the church. That was in 1949, in the Stayner church.
    Even though it was a “cape” dress and I wore a covering, my Mother was severely reprimanded by the deacon’s wife for “letting me do it”.
    My sisters (maid of honor and bridesmaid) and I had beautiful bouquets.

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