One of the most common responses that Christians make is to say the word "amen". Here's an example from a Mass:

Priest: May almighty God bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

All: Amen.

What does this expression mean?

  • The hover tooltip for down-voting questions says "This question does not show any research effort [...] or is not useful". There could be an interesting question here about the origin of the word or perhaps variations in usage over time/between traditions, but just asking for a word definition (of something most even non Christians just know and isn't confusing or controversial) isn't something I think makes a very useful question. – Caleb Mar 14 '13 at 13:06
  • That question is a polar opposite from this one. Just because they both use "what does x mean" format in the title doesn't make them equivalent. In '11 we hadn't figured out yet what was a constructive question format, but if anything that one errs on the side of being too broad, having too many differences between traditions to simply answer as a truth question. It's an incredibly involved and disputed point. On the other hand the meaning of amen is (as you note) so simple it's hardly interesting, and so common and unified in Christianity that even those outside of it automatically just know. – Caleb Mar 14 '13 at 22:04
  • Except for the capital T part (which even the Catechism doesn't bear you out on), my dictionary says that. So does google. So does wikipedia. Of course there are advantages to asking here rather than a dictionary, but usually strength of what makes us more like an encyclopedia instead of a dictionary is our ability to delineate perspectives rather than using lowest common denominators. – Caleb Mar 14 '13 at 23:13

"Amen" is a Hebrew word that stems from the word aman, which means "to be faithful, support, or confirm." The word "amen" actually means, "so be it," or "truly."

The Catholic definition agrees.

’Amen itself is an interjection used to agree with, affirm, approve, or emphasize something else that has been said. Thus when Jesus begins certain sayings by declaring "Amen, amen, I say to you . . . " various Bible translations often render the "amen, amen" different ways. Because of the word’s association with the Hebrew terms for truth, the double amen is sometimes rendered "truly, truly" or "verily, verily." Because of its association with the Hebrew terms for confirmation or dependability, one might also translate it "certainly, certainly" or "most assuredly."

When one says "amen" in response to a prayer, it serves as an affirmation of agreement with the content of the prayer (cf. 1 Cor 14:16)—in which case it is sometimes translated "So be it" (cf. CCC 2856)—or as an expression of faith that God will hear and act on the prayer.

Southern Baptist version: "You said it, Preacher!" or "Right on, Brother!"

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    And when an Episcopalian says it, it means, "Preacher - you're getting pretty close to 15 minutes, and I don't want to miss my tee time." – Affable Geek Mar 14 '13 at 4:06

it means "‘I believe that it will be so" . It is a declaration of affirmation.

The first occurrence of the word in scripture is in num 5:22, where a woman is made to undergo test for adultery,Where a husband accuses his wife of adultery, and she protested her innocence, and she was not been caught in the act, the matter was settled by God under the test of bitter water.

During the ceremony, when the priest pronounced the curse, the woman was required by God to say, "Amen, so be it."

In Islam also, they always end their prayers with Amin, Amen and Amin universally means 'i support or i agree'.

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    Not bad at all for a first answer. Welcome to the site! – David Stratton Mar 14 '13 at 5:13
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    @DavidStratton ;-) – Sibu Mar 14 '13 at 5:14

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