Great Stuff Found on the Web — The Welcome Sound of the “Amen”

Found on Pastoral Meanderings:

 

There is perhaps nothing that I enjoy more about the distribution of the Sacrament of the Altar than the sound of the “Amens” that some of the folk say when I say “The Body of Christ for you…”  Would that I heard more of them.  But I thought I was the only one who was encouraged – dare I say energized – by the sound of the “Amens” at the rail.  It turns out I was not.  I have had newcomers to Lutheranism say that they were just as pleasantly surprised by both the sound of these “Amens” at the rail and the effect of hearing them upon their own faith and life.  On a Roman Catholic blog, a convert to Rome remarked how a baptism made his family sit up front and how he, too, was encouraged and delighted to hear the continuous strains of the “Amens” during the distribution.

I would encourage those who do not, to consider it.  I would further encourage us all to make this “Amen” at the rail not simply a perfunctory thing but the true and joyous “Yea, it shall be so” to the gracious gift of God who delivers to us the heavenly grace of the body and blood of Christ hidden there in bread and wine.  Truly this is a blessed sound in the ears of God as well as the ears of those at the rail.  It may not be usual Lutheran practice, usual Lutheran practice not being a universal thing, I vote that we make it such.  Amen! to the body of our Lord.  Amen! to the cup of our Lord.

Lutherans are not well known for being spontaneous or for tossing in an “Amen” to signal our agreement with the preacher and his preaching.  I am not encouraging anything of the sort.  The “Amens” at the rail are the joyful words of faith that are bidden by the gift and grace of God present there and they are the result of the Spirit’s own work in us of faith and trust in what that Word and elements bestow.  So, even if you would never in your life throw out an “Amen” in the sermon, consider an “Amen” at the rail — said to the Lord first and foremost since it is at His bidding you come and His gift you receive, but also to encourage your Pastor who distributes the holy mystery and to uplift those around you at the rail who make their own “Amen” to the Lord.

About Norm Fisher

Norm was raised in the UCC in Connecticut, and like many fell away from the church after high school. With this background he saw it primarily as a service organization. On the miracle of his first child he came back to the church. On moving to Texas a few years later he found a home in Lutheranism when he was invited to a confessional church a half-hour away by our new neighbors.

He is one of those people who found a like mind in computers while in Middle School and has been programming ever since. He's responsible for many websites, including the Book of Concord, LCMSsermons.com, and several other sites.

He has served the church in various positions, including financial secretary, sunday school teacher, elder, PTF board member, and choir member.

More of his work can be found at KNFA.net.

Comments

Great Stuff Found on the Web — The Welcome Sound of the “Amen” — 4 Comments

  1. Pastor Peters,

    Do you know the historical background for using the ‘Amen’ after receiving The Lord’s Supper? I think it’s a wonderful idea but saying the ‘Amen’ after communion wasn’t taught when I was confirmed in 1963. I’ve noticed the rubric is in LSB but not in TLH. If my memory serves me correctly, Dr. Kenneth Korby wrote something about not taking away the ‘amens’ from the people. Another interesting observation is that the amen after the last stanza of hymns in LSB has been taken away. I’m just wondering why these rubrics change. Thanks.:)

  2. I wouldn’t know what “Vatican II” has to do with it!

    The Pastor says, “This is the Body of Christ, given for you.
    This is the Blood of Christ, given for you.

    What else is there to say to that, but “Amen”? Per the catechism, ‘Amen, Amen, that is “Yea, Yea, it shall be so.” ‘ It is so.

  3. In the Organist Liturgy Accompaniment for LSB, there is a number of Amens for the Hymns. So it leaves it up to the organist to play them. I often play an Amen after a hymn, although sometimes the Hymn tune or arrangement is not as suitable so I might not play an Amen with those. @Diane #1

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