Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Let the “Amen” Sound From His People Again

We’ve been using the Lutheran Service Book for over a year now in our congregation. There are many good things about the new hymnal, but there’s one thing missing, the “amen” at the end of the hymns. It just didn’t seem right to move on without that “amen,” especially after the last hymn.

The Small Catechism states that “The word amen means ‘so shall it be’ and emphasizes that God, who has commanded us to pray, will hear our prayers and answer them as He has promised.”

We’ve decided to “go against the flow,” and return the amen to it’s rightful place, so amen!, it’s done. There are certain types of hymns after which you might not want to sing an amen because of the the lyrical content of the hymn or the cadence, although we haven’t fine tuned it to that point yet (there is an amen chart available for LSB). While it’s true that historically TLH was the only LCMS hymnal with the amen included in each hymn (A Guide to Introducing Lutheran Service Book, p. 40), a lot of us grew up with it, and continued the practice even though LW didn’t have the amen, so it’s nice to have the old practice back. What’s your vote on the “amen?”


Dan @ Necessary Roughness said...

Interesting that there is a chart. I've included an Amen on certain songs at the house. It's simply what we call a IV-I chord. For example, if you end on a C chord, your Amen is an F, then a C. If you end in G, it's C, then G. I'll have to look at the chart to see if they have more complex ones.

Red said...

On the vast majority of the hymns we sing, the organist does add the amen. It's the usual one unless the hymn calls for something slightly different and then she either ad-libs or goes off of the handy chart. She's very gifted, so whatever she does, and likely it's an ad-lib, it is excellent AND appropriate.

But speaking of amens... what about the post-Benediction Amen? Only the Setting Three has the Triple Amen, but our organist plays it for every single service no matter what - even for Matins. Even the TLH didn't have the triple amen for Matins.