Amen 101 Question


#1

I'm going to plead ignorant here. I don't understand why I hear "Ah_men" and "A-men" during the liturgy. I've always used the pronunciation "ah men," even in my old Presbyterian days.

Appreciate simple or detail input.:D


#2

I think it's like the to-ma-to to-mah-to difference. I don't think either pronunciation is more correct (although one is probably closer to the Hebrew). I've noticed that sometimes one is more common in one region or city than the other, but I'm not sure if there's a rhyme or reason (other than regional accents) to which one people use.


#3

In the USA, both pronunciations are corrrect when said. When sung, "Ah-men" is the correct pronunciation.


#4

Both are totally correct. I've found that when singing it's most often hear ah-men and when spoken, ay-men, but that might be a mid-western thing.


#5

It's funny, because when chanted, I pronounce it "ah-men", as during the Great Amen. However, in prayer, I will pronounce it "ay-men". I think it is simply a matter of pronunciation and of no spiritual consequence, but it is curious...


#6

I've also noticed a difference in pronunciation of Hos-anna or Hos-ahna. My theory is that one is easier to sound out while singing and the other is American pronunciation. I don't think it makes a difference.


#7

[quote="whipp711, post:1, topic:295439"]
I'm going to plead ignorant here. I don't understand why I hear "Ah_men" and "A-men" during the liturgy. I've always used the pronunciation "ah men," even in my old Presbyterian days.

Appreciate simple or detail input.:D

[/quote]

There have actually been quite a few threads discussing this issue here in the Liturgy and Sacraments Forum. (I know, because this is something that has been of interest to me.) I'll see if I can find the one that (IMHO) has the best info.

I will say for now that A-men (or as seems to be the common spelling, Ay-men) is perfectly acceptable for spoken English.

When singing anything other than 1960s style folk music, Ah-men is the correct pronunciation.

The long-A sound should never be sung! :eek: Whether it's sacred music or or secular rock music, it sounds hideous. (The only possible exception would be a sea chanty where you want that pirate-Rrrrrrr! :p)


#8

our current priest says Ah Men quite slowly and deliberately each time. It catches on

I think I've always said AhMen but just viewed it like accents so hardly know what I've said in the past.

I bet its another high and low church thingy....:)


#9

"Ah-men" is closer to how it's pronounced in Hebrew. "Ay-men" is closer to how it's pronounced in the South. :p

-ACEGC


#10

*Ah-men VS Ey-men
*
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?p=6125528

This thread references the "Great Vowel Shift". That seems to be the source of the Ay-men pronunciation.

Here are some other threads on the subject.

** Ay-men
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?p=8655514

**** Ahmen or Aymen?
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=617889**


#11

Ah-men is the Latin pronunciation... I think.


#12

The “A” has always been the short A regardless of the language. In the original Aramaic it is “Ah-meen”, as well as in Ukrainian and Slavonic. In Latin and Spanish it is “Ah-men”. Only the English pronounces the “a” as “ey”.


#13

[quote="ConstantineTG, post:12, topic:295439"]
The "A" has always been the short A regardless of the language. In the original Aramaic it is "Ah-meen", as well as in Ukrainian and Slavonic. In Latin and Spanish it is "Ah-men". Only the English pronounces the "a" as "ey".

[/quote]

And in a 1000 years we may be pronouncing it

Hey-mine


#14

[quote="SMHW, post:10, topic:295439"]
*Ah-men VS Ey-men
*
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?p=6125528

This thread references the "Great Vowel Shift". That seems to be the source of the Ay-men pronunciation.

Here are some other threads on the subject.

** Ay-men
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?p=8655514**

** Ahmen or Aymen?
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=617889**

[/quote]

Excellent thread. Thanks!


#15

I’ve noticed that in Canada it’s by and large ah-men. When I was vacation in Florida I noted that it was always ay-men.

Although, we don’t agree how to pronounce “Z” either (it’s “zed” of course) either. :stuck_out_tongue:


#16

In every main-line Proteatant church, and in the Orthodox church it is said as ah-men.
I always thought of ay-men or in the south Ay-min as a fundamentalist/evangelical thing.

I was raised Protestant and when I went to my first Mass I heard ay-men. I was surprised to hear Catholics say it the same way as Catholic hating fundamentalists.

I just wonder if it was said as ay-men when English replaced Latin?

Perhaps people thought of ah-men as Latin, and ay-men as english?

I still go against the flow and say ah-men, I will never use the baptist pronunciation.


#17

The ay-men pronunciation seems to have Irish roots and has been used by Catholics for a LONG time. It was definitely in use prior to Vatican II for devotional purposes and has pretty much been used by English speaking Catholics since English Masses were first permitted.


#18

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