The Great Amen

Why is it that the concluding doxology (through Him,with Him,In Him etc) is said by the congregation with the priest, when it is clearly marked as by celebrant only.This negates the impact of the Great Amen,which,when I was a child was sang by the choir to emphasise its greatness.Some priests actually ask the congregation to participate in the saying of the doxology Maybe this is just an Irish phenomenon but it really bugs me.

I don’t like it when the congregation says “Through him with him etc.” either. Gladly this doesn’t hapen in my church. I agree, it does lessen the impact of the Amen.

Perhaps it was started by a priest that couldn’t sing…:smiley:

That’s never been done in any church that I’ve been in. (Canada and United States) If you don’t mind my asking what country did this happen in?

It’s common in Ireland. Drives me nuts, too :stuck_out_tongue: I don’t know where or how it started but it seems to have spread like wildfire throughout the country.

I get funny looks 'cause I never join in but then say ‘Amen’ very loudly at the end. Tends to startle those around me :smiley:

Well, I’m in Canada and it was done in my present parish until I put an article on the Eucharistic Prayer in the bulletin.

It’s done in the parish where I grew up and in most of the parishes around there.

My friend who goes home to spend time with her mom during the summer often starts to say it when she returns and has to catch herself, because in her hometown, they do it too.

It’s more prevalent than one would expect and in my experience it was always started by the priest inviting the congregation to join in.

Wow, I had no idea.

It’s done in French Canada too. I once heard there was an indult for Canada… but never found evidence.

One more reason why I go to Mass at a Benedictine abbey where the liturgy is absolutely flawless, OF Mass, Latin Propers and Ordinary in Gregorian chant, the rest in French plainchant, lovely really. You do hear the odd visitor singing along with the priests (Mass is concelebrated) but the “regulars” as it were, know our place in the grand scheme of things, especially at Mass :smiley:

I doubt there’s an indult. The former pastor in my hometown parish told members of his parish council that he knew he wasn’t supposed to have people say the doxology but he was going to keep on doing it. They also recite the doxology after the Lord’s Prayer.

If there really was an indult, the visiting priest who stopped mid-doxology to say “I don’t know why you’re saying this prayer, it belongs to me, not you” and then started again wouldn’t have done that.:slight_smile:

I’m in Canada, too.

This is not supposed to be said by the congregation. There is no Canadian indult to allow this. I know that occasionally we’ve had a priest who for some “special occasion” invites the people to say the doxology with him but this is not supposed to happen.

When the people speak (or sing) this doxology, it renders the enthusiastic “Great Amen” rather anti-climactic.

Here, it seems to be more prevalent in French congregations than in English ones.

Some priests do not know liturgy nearly as well as they ought to.

I’ve noticed that at a big Mass with lots of concelebrants who (appropriately) chant this part (the Per Ipsum) together, sometimes a number of the congregation kind of tentatively join in. But it’s seemed to be not that they were in the habit of doing it, but that they heard lots of voices and automatically joined in. I even found myself resisting the urge, and I know better.

But there’s no excuse under normal circumstances.

That said, I kind of get annoyed when the “Great Amen” itself is, in my opinion, overdone. I even saw an altar server training guide that said the Great Amen is the highest point of the Mass. Not so; that would be the Consecration. (This same guide also instructed them not to kneel for the Eucharistic Prayer.)

A nice single or even triple chanted Amen is fine. But when it gets into “Amen, Amen, Alleluia, we do believe, Alleluia, Amen” I just say Amen and then stand in silence. Those other words are not part of the Order of Mass…

this should not be, it is illicit
why not simply ask the priest why it is allowed?

Can anyone cite an authoritative Church document that refers to the Amen at the end of the concluding acclamation as the “Great Amen?”
As far as I know, it is simply an “amen” that happens to fall after the Eucharistic Prayer. I do not believe it was ever called such until the 1970’s, and even then not in the liturgical documents themselves.

It was called “The Great Amen” in the early 70s when I was taking my confirmation classes in the **Anglican **ecclesial community. (From what I’ve read it seems that the goal of many church leaders in the 1960s and 70s was to make the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass much more protestant friendly.)

As for the doxology, I only heard a few people trying to join in back when we had a celebrant and a con-celebrant singing it. I believe that there was an announcement made telling us not to join in.

According to Redemptionis Sacramentum:

[52.] The proclamation of the Eucharistic Prayer, which by its very nature is the climax of the whole celebration, is proper to the Priest by virtue of his Ordination. It is therefore an abuse to proffer it in such a way that some parts of the Eucharistic Prayer are recited by a Deacon, a lay minister, or by an individual member of the faithful, or by all members of the faithful together. The Eucharistic Prayer, then, is to be recited by the Priest alone in full.131

[53.] While the Priest proclaims the Eucharistic Prayer “there should be no other prayers or singing, and the organ or other musical instruments should be silent”,132 except for the people’s acclamations that have been duly approved, as described below.

[54.] The people, however, are always involved actively and never merely passively: for they “silently join themselves with the Priest in faith, as well as in their interventions during the course of the Eucharistic Prayer as prescribed, namely in the responses in the Preface dialogue, the Sanctus, the acclamation after the consecration and the “Amen” after the final doxology, and in other acclamations approved by the Conference of Bishops with the recognitio of the Holy See”.133

In other words, the final doxology falls to the celebrant to say, not the faithful.

I hope this helps.

There are five to ten folks who say the doxology along with the padre at our 3:30 PM Saturday evening Mass. It does not appear to be catching on.

The Mass is Jesus Christ’s Sacrifice offered by the priest as His alter ago.

The Mass also is gathering of the people and the communal meal where Jesus Christs feed us with His body.

There should be a balance between the too

Until St Pius X the Mass was almost exclusively the affair of priest and Jesus Christ, people were only spectators, in the majority of the masses not even communion of the faithful.

This, promoting the participation of the people changed during the twentieth Century. Still the Church kept alone the Canon as the affair between the priest and Jesus Christ, allowing the laity only the acclamation after the Mysterium Fidei, and the Ament at the end; and nothing else. The 3rd version of the Canon what priest usually read is very short, people should be able to listen to it patiently

To recite the doxology is abuse, an intentional attempt to promote the concept of the people’s Church instead of the hierarchical institutional Church.

Yup…and this is only one example of this concept.
Far more prevalent is the illicit practice of people adopting the Orans posture, which the rubrics prescibe for (and only for) the priest during the Our Father.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit