(It’s guest post Friday! Here’s a great new post from Jessica Kuck, a writer from the land of 10,000 lakes. You can find her on Twitter and Facebook. If you want to write a guest post for SCL, here’s how.)
Amen Etiquette – By Jessica Kuck
Have you ever been caught in the quandary of the “You say ‘ey-men’ I say ‘ah-men'” predicament? I have.
Allow me to set the stage. You’re visiting a church and in the middle of the service it suddenly creeps up on you. Maybe you’re singing a song. Maybe you’re ending a prayer. Or maybe you’re corporately reading out of the bulletin. Either way, when it hits you’ve got a decision to make–fast, and you better choose wisely, or else the person standing next to you will be stuck in their own quandary: needing to exercise the fruit of the Spirit in order to resist the urge to look at you funny out of the corner of their eye.
If you’re like me, you may have received an “F” in this department before. Oh the shame! No worries, though. We all make mistakes, and there is grace enough for us all. But shall we continue to fail so that grace may abound? By no means!
Is it “ey-men” or “ah-men”? Wonder no more. The next time you visit your brother’s church you can feel confident in your amen application. Simply follow “The Quirky Christian’s Guide to Amen Etiquette.”
When to use “ah-men”:
1) The Doxology (or any other traditional hymn for that matter).
In this instance, you will be standing and singing and the very end of the song will end with ah-men. If you’re feeling extra ambitious, try singing it in harmony.
2) Prayer ending in “In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.”
When you hear this phrase, be sure to first pause and take a breath. Then, open wide and let out the unison ah-men.
3) The Lord’s Prayer (a.k.a. the “Our Father”).
This is a tricky one because it may end on “forever,” “forever and ever,” or it may just end on “evil.” You don’t want to be too hasty, though, because if you say it too soon it will negate the fact that you correctly used ah-men.
4) The Apostle’s Creed (or any other creed for that matter).
You don’t even know what that is? This is exactly why you need this guide! When you see this heading next in line on the bulletin, be prepared to recite a reverent ah-men at the end.
When to use “ey-men”:
1) When someone says something you agree with.
When you feel the uncontrollable urge to concur, exclaim ey-men loud and proud. As you grow more comfortable with it, try following it with the word “brother” or “sister.”
2) When a speaker from the pulpit requests confirmation.
“Can I get an ey-men?” they ask. Go ahead. Shout it out. Let them know you’re still awake.
3) Prayer ending in “In Jesus’ name” (or any rendition of the sort).
If all you hear at the end of the prayer is a reference to the second person of the Trinity, you will most definitely use ey-men.
4) When Amen appears multiple times in a song.
“Ey-men. Ey-men. Ey-men. Ey-men. Ey-men.”
There you have it. Feel free to print this post off and bring it with you next time you’re visiting another church. These guidelines fit onto a half-sheet of paper, making them easily camouflageable with the bulletin.
(For more great stuff from Jessica, check out her blog!)