Carmel Bulletin, 8 November 2015
It is the shortest response that we make at any time during the Mass. It is the most common response. It is also, I believe, the most important.
The word Amen is a word by which we give assent or affirmation to what has been said. Often it is described as meaning “so be it”.
The response Amen allows the assembly to give its voice to its prayers that are led by the priest. We confirm that we worship in the name of the Trinity. We affirm our profession of faith. The Eucharistic Prayer, with its praise, petition and thanksgiving, comes to its completion with the Great Amen; a response considered so important that it should be sung.
It is interesting, therefore, that some people seem reluctant to respond to the priest, deacon or Extraordinary Minister when they receive communion. The declarations “The Body of Christ” and “The Blood of Christ” deserve our heartfelt response. To say Amen is to declare our belief that we are receiving Christ himself. Not only that, but as St Augustine once explained, we declare our belief that Christ is present within us, and that we say Amen to both what the Eucharist is, and what we are.
To say Amen when we receive communion is a powerful expression of our faith. So don’t be afraid to speak up! Say Amen.