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amen

amen. So be it. The Hebrew terminal word of prayer in Jewish, Christian, and Mohammedan worship. It has been extended by composers, many times, into a long comp., e.g. the ‘Amen Chorus’ of Handel's Messiah. Shorter settings have been made for liturgical use, such as Gibbons's Threefold Amen and Stainer's Sevenfold Amen. The Dresden Amen comes from the Threefold Amen of the Royal Chapel of Dresden (common also throughout Saxony); its composer was J. G. Naumann.

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amen

amen an exclamation, meaning ‘so be it’, uttered at the end of a prayer or hymn. Recorded from Old English, the word comes via ecclesiastical Latin from Greek amēn, from Hebrew ‘truth, certainty’, used adverbially as expression of agreement, and adopted in the Septuagint as a solemn expression of belief or affirmation.

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amen

a·men / äˈmen; āˈmen/ • interj. uttered at the end of a prayer or hymn, meaning ‘so be it.’ ∎  used to express agreement or assent: amen to that! • n. an utterance of “amen.”

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Amen

Amen (Heb., ‘So be it’). An individual or congregational endorsement of a prayer or blessing. In Islam, the form is āmīn, spoken as a form of inclusion and assent to the words of prayer.

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amen

amen XII. — ecclL. āmēn — Gr. āmḗn — Heb. āmēn certainty, truth.

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Amen

Amen: see Amon.

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amen

amenAdrienne, again, amen, Ardennes, Behn, Ben, Benn, Bren, cayenne, Cévennes, Dairen, den, en, fen, gen, glen, Glenn, Guyenne, Gwen, hen, julienne, Karen, ken, Len, Loren, men, Nene, Ogaden, paren, pen, Penn, Phnom Penh, Rennes, Shenzhen, Sun Yat-sen, ten, then, Tlemcen, when, wren, yen, zazen, Zen •Chechen • Nurofen • peahen •moorhen • Origen • allergen • admen •bagmen, ragmen, swagmen •packmen • gasmen • taxmen •jazzmen • ramen • yardmen • legmen •chessmen • repairmen • flamen •mailmen • cavemen • he-men •freedmen • milkmen • linkmen •middlemen • wingmen • hitmen •handymen • bogeymen • hymen •icemen • conmen • strongmen •lawmen, strawmen •cognomen, nomen, praenomen, snowmen •patrolmen • oilmen • Shumen •newsmen •frontmen, stuntmen •firemen, wiremen •anchormen • newspapermen •cameramen • motormen •weathermen • mermen • playpen •pigpen • fountain pen • bullpen •samisen • Leuven • Ceinwen •somewhen

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Amen

AMEN

AMEN (Heb. אָמֵן; "it is true," "so be it," "may it become true"), word or formula used as confirmation, endorsement, or expression of hope and wish on hearing a blessing, prayer, curse, or oath. Originally an adjective ("true"; but see Isa. 65:16 for its use as a noun), it became an indeclinable interjection. As such it is found 30 times in the masoretic text of the Bible and an additional three times in the Septuagint (see Tob. 8:8 and 1 qs 1:20, 2:10, 18). It usually stands alone, but is followed by a more explicit prayer formula in i Kings 1:36 and Jeremiah 28:6. In the service of the Second Temple, "Amen" was the response to the songs chanted by the levites (Ps. 41:14; 72:19; 89:53; 106:48; Neh. 8:6; i Chron. 16:36; cf. however Tosef. Ber. 7:22). In the synagogue liturgy, "Amen" was the response to all prayers and blessings. In the vast synagogue of Alexandria the ḥazzan signaled with a flag from the central reading platform to the congregation when to respond "Amen" after blessings (Suk. 51b). It may be assumed that in Temple and talmudic times responding "Amen" was the main form of participation in the service, not only because congregations were unfamiliar with the prayer texts (cf. rh 34b) but because public worship mainly took the form that one spoke and the rest responded. The saying of "Amen" is equivalent to reciting the blessing itself, and such religious value has been attached to it, that it has been said to be superior to the benediction that occasioned the response (Ber. 53b; Maim., Yad, Berakhot 1:11). A person should not usually respond with "Amen" to a blessing he himself has recited, the only exception now being the third blessing of the Grace after Meals (Ber. 45a and Tos.). This prohibition may be a reaction to the Christian custom to conclude every prayer with "Amen." The early church borrowed the use of "Amen" together with most of the liturgy, and it is found in the New Testament 119 times, of which 52 are uses different from the Hebrew. In Islam, "Amen" is the response after reciting the first sura (Surat al-Fatiḥa) of the Koran.

"Amen" is used as a response to blessings recited both privately and in the synagogue liturgy. The congregation also responds "Amen" after each of the three verses of the Priestly Blessing (Sot. 7:3, 39b). In some rites the response after each verse is Ken yehi raẓon ("Let this be [His] will"; cf. Sh. Ar., oḤ 127:2). After each paragraph of the Kaddish and after a number of other prayers, such as the Mi she-Berakh formulas in the Sabbath morning service, the reader invites the congregation to respond "Amen" by saying ve-imru Amen, or ve-nomar Amen ("and say Amen" or "let us say Amen"). Numerous rules are given concerning how "Amen" should be recited, e.g., with a strong, clear voice but not too loud; not too quick and not too slow. It describes various types of "Amen," such as "snatched," "mumbled," and "orphaned" (Ber. 47a). Other problems discussed in the Talmud are whether to respond to the blessing of a Samaritan or of a non-Jew (Ber. 8:7; Ber. 51b; tj Ber. 8:1, 12d). The aggadah stresses the great religious value of responding "Amen": it prolongs life (Ber. 47a); the gates of Paradise will be opened to him who responds with all his might (Shab. 119b); his sins will be forgiven, any evil decree passed on him by God will be canceled (ibid.); and he will be spared from Hell (Pseudo sez 20, ed. Friedmann (1904), 33:1; Yal. Isa. 429). The Talmud (Shab. 119b; Sanh. 111a) also offers a homiletical etymology of "Amen" by explaining it as made up of the initial letters of El Melekh Ne'eman ("God, faithful King"), a phrase by which the reading of the Shema is preceded when recited other than in congregational worship. However, in the older prayer orders (Amram, Saadiah, Vitry) the original "Amen" appears before the Shema. Even God Himself "nods" "Amen" to the blessing given to him by mortal man (Ber. 7a and Rashi). According to legend, two angels accompany each Jew on Friday evening to his home, where they either bless him for his receiving the Sabbath properly or curse him for neglecting it, and they confirm their curse or blessing with "Amen" (Shab. 119b). Any good wish offered should be answered by Amen, ken yehi raẓon, as can be inferred from an incident going back to Second Temple times (Ket. 66b).

In Music

According to the Talmud (Ber. 47a; tj Ber. 8:10), the "Amen" should be drawn out in pronunciation, an act which is said to prolong life (repeated in the Zohar, Shelaḥ Lekha, 162a). Since Eastern chant does not use extended single notes, this very old precept furnished a challenge to elaborate the "Amen" response with ornament and coloratura. The free evolution of an "Amen"-melisma is found in Christian chant as early as the Oxyrhynchos hymn (late third century), in some settings of the Gloria and the Credo in the Roman mass, and later in figural church music. As to Jewish chant, the Gemara already limited the length of the "Amen" pronunciation; therefore, prolonged melodies are restricted to the "Amen" after the Blessing of the Priests (Example 1) and to the solo-part of the precentor (Example 2). In 1696, Judah Leib Zelichover (Shirei

Yehudah, fol. 13b) disapproved of the excessive lengthening of "Amen"-melodies by some of his fellow singers. The "Amen" of the congregation in general remains a simple repetition, a conclusion or short continuation of the precentor's melody. "Amen"-motives characteristic of a certain feast were derived from its specific musical modes and prayer tunes. In the 19th century synagogue, S. *Sulzer, Hirsch Weintraub, and others attempted an imitation of figural "Amen" composition, but without success.

[Hanoch Avenary]

bibliography:

E. Blau, in: rej, 31 (1895), 179–201; H. Graetz, in: mgwj, 21 (1872), 481 ff.; H.W. Hogg, in: jqr, 9 (1896/97), 1 ff.; Elbogen, Gottesdienst, 495 ff.; F. Heiler, Gebet (19212), 383, 442 ff.; D. de Sola Pool, Kaddish (1909); L. Jacobs, Faith (1968), 199f.; et, 2 (1949), 46–50. music: je, ej, Adler, Prat Mus, 21, 249; Idelsohn, Melodien, 1 (1914); 4 (1923), 131 no. 26, 137 no. 32; H. Weintraub, Schire Beth Adonai (19012), 82–83 no. 96; J. Freudenthal, Final Amens and Shabat Shalom (1963); F. Piket, Eleven Amens for All Occasions (1960).

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Amen

Amen ★★★ 2002 (R)

Costa-Gavras dramatizes a Holocaust story with a somewhat heavy hand. SS. Lt. Kurt Gerstein (Tukur) is a chemist who uses prussic acid Zyklon B for fumigating camp barracks. Sent to a Polish concentration camp, he witnesses the deaths of Jewish prisoners by the gas. Appalled, Gerstein rishes reprisals by informing various church leaders, although no one is willing to speak out until he reaches the young Italian priest, Father Riccardo Fontana (Kassovitz), who has family ties to Pope Pius XII (Iures). As head of the the Hygiene Institute, the SS expects Gerstein to continue to eliminate vermin of all kinds while Father Fontana heads to the Vatican in the hopes of getting the Pope to expose the genocide. An adaptation of Rolf Hochhuth's 1963 play, “The Deputy.” 130m/C DVD . FR Ulrich Tukur, Mathieu Kassovitz, Marcel Iures, Ulrich Muhe, Michel Duchaussoy, Ion Caramitru; D: Constantin Costa-Gavras; W: Constantin Costa-Gavras, Jean-Claude Grumberg; C: Patrick Blossier; M: Armand Amar.

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Amen

AMEN

A Hebrew word from a root ('mn ) meaning "to be trustworthy," used to signify "surely," "so it is," "so may it be," "I ratify." (see faith.) In the Old Testament, the term has several significations. In Nm 5.22 it is used to signify assent to an administered oath, the one using the term thereby agreeing to accept the consequences of a curse or punishment in the event the crime be committed. In Dt 27.1526 the word is used to indicate ratification of each of 12 curses for 12 specified possible crimes. It is similarly used in Neh 5.13 and Jer 11.5. In 2 Kgs 1.36, Tb 9.12, and Jer 28.6, it is used to signify agreement with a blessing. In synagogue practice, Amen was used by the people to ratify a prayer or doxology pronounced by the rabbi or leader [Neh 8.6; Ps 105(106).48]; often in such usage it was doubled [Ps 40(41).14; 71(72).19; 88(89).53].

In the New Testament, Christ's statements are often introduced with Amen, thereby guaranteeing their absolute certitude and divine authority. Such meaning was un-known in previous usage of the word. In the Gospel of St. John, such statements are introduced by a double Amen (Jn 1.51; 13.16, etc.), the other evangelists retaining single use of the term. The word was pronounced in apostolic liturgical assemblies to ratify the priestly eucharistic prayer (1 Cor 14.16), even by Greek-speaking Christians. Frequent passages in the Epistles indicate the use of the word to conclude private petitions and doxologies, as well as liturgical ones (Rom 1.25; 9.5; 1 Tm 1.17; Heb 13.21; 1 Pt 4.11; 5.11; 5.14; Jdt 1.25; Phil 1.25; 2 Pt 3.18; 1 Thes 5.28; 2 Thes 3.18; etc.). According to St. Paul, through Christ "also rises the Amen' to God unto our glory" (2 Cor 1.20), since all the divine promises find their fulfillment and ratification in the Word Incarnate. The Book of the Revelation states that those in glory, when hearing the heavenly doxologies before the throne of God, will respond with Amen (Rv 5.14).

Liturgical usage. The use of "Amen" as an acclamation of assent to prayers and doxologies in liturgical worship dates back to the apostolic period. In 2 Cor 1:20, Paul asserted that "we utter Amen through Christ to the glory of God." It appeared that early Christians adopted the Jewish practice of assenting to prayer by the invocation "Amen." In his description of the eucharistic prayer in First Apology, Justin Martyr noted that the presider prayed the eucharistic prayer to the best of his ability, and the assembly assented to his prayer with a resounding Amen. Over time, this practice developed into the Great Amen which concludes the eucharistic prayer in the East and West.

Bibliography: l. gillet, Ephemerides theologicae Lovanienses 56 (Bruges 194445) 134136. k. berger, "Zur Geschichte der Einleitungsformel Amen, ich sage euch"' Zeitschrift für die Neutestamentliche Wissenschaft und die Kunde der Älteren Kirche 63:12 (1972) 4575. j. m. ross, "Amen," Expository Times 102 (1991) 166171. k. seybold, "Zur Vorgeschichte der liturgischen Formel Amen"' Theologische Zeitschrift 48 (1992) 109117.

[m. r. e. masterman/eds.]

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