New user? Register here:
Email Address:
Password:
Retype Password:
First Name:
Last Name:
Existing user? Login here:
 
 

Amen

As the word amen means ‘so be it’, it is logically a response indicating the speaker's endorsement of what has just been said by someone else. It had that meaning in pre-Reformation times, when priests and choirs sang or chanted the liturgy and hymns, and the people indicated their approval by the word ‘amen’, as is still done with many prayers today. If sung it would be pitched to the final note of the chant. An organ would conveniently harmonize it with a plagal cadence, and this was generally adopted by choirs when they began to sing the amen on the people's behalf. In some cases the amen was formally incorporated in the choral chant or hymn, notably in the Doxology, which ended with an...

If you have a valid subscription to Dictionary of Hymnology, please log in to view this content. If you require a subscription, please click here.

Cite this article