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Similarly in the Sacrament of Penance and in the Sacrament of Extreme Unction it is the priest who adds Amen after the essential words of the sacramental form, although in the Sacrament of Confirmation this is done by the assistants.
Further, it may be noticed that in past centuries certain local rites seem to have shown an extraordinary predilection for the use of the word Amen .
This at least is the only natural sense in which to interpret the use of the word in I Cor., xiv, 16, "Else if thou shall bless with the spirit, how shall he that holdeth the place of the unlearned say Amen to thy blessing ?
" ( pos erei to amen epi te se eucharistia ) where to amen seems clearly to mean "the customary Amen". however, its use seems to have been limited to the congregation, who made answer to some public prayer, and it was not spoken by him who offered the prayer (see yon der Goltz, Das Gebet in der ltesten Christenheit, p. It is perhaps one of the most reliable indications of the early data of the "Didache" or "Teaching of the Twelve Apostles", that, although several short liturgical formul are embodied in this document, the word Amen occurs but once, and then in company with the word maranatha, apparently as an ejaculation of the assembly. 155, on which occasion we are expressly told in a contemporary document that the executioners waited until Polycarp completed his prayer, and "pronounced the word Amen", before they kindled the fire by which he perished.
Augustine expresses it, in virtue of an exceptionally sacred example.
The Amen who is also the beginning would thus suggest much the same idea as "I am Alpha and Omegain Scripture) " of Apoc., I, 5, or "The first and the last" of Apoc., ii, 8.
The employment of Amen in the synagogues as the people's answer to a prayer said aloud by a representative must no doubt have been adopted in their own worship by the Christians of the Apostolic age.
When Amen is thus used by Our Lord to introduce a statement He seems especially to make a demand upon the faith of His hearers in His word or in His power; e.g.
John, viii, 58, "Amen, Amen, I say unto you, before Abraham was made, I am".