Ahmen or Aymen?

I am a convert to the Catholic church, and I was raised Fundamentalist Church of Christ and Baptist.

All the fundamentalists pronounced the word amen as aymen, if fact sometimes they would even shout AYMEN.

As soon as I graduated HS I looked for another church. At first I went Episcopal trying to keep peace in the family, since they are partly Catholic and partly Protestant. That failed since my family said “church of Christ or nothing”. Since I was already rejected by my folks I converted to Catholicism.

But in the Episcopal church I became accustomed to liturgy and saying ahmen and not shouting aymen.

The first thing that suprised me in the Catholic church was the people saying “aymen” just like the fundamentalists (minus the shouting).

The Cath Ch used to say ahmen, when and why the change? Did it have something to do with the switch from Latin? Aymen is supposed to be more “english”?

BTW I am too young to remember the EF Mass.

I say ahmen, priest says ahmen, about half of the congregation goes either way.

Its been my experience that the more ritualistic religions (Catholicism, Anglicanism, Eastern Orthodoxy, etc.) have a preference for ahmen, while less ritualistic religions have a preference for aymen.

The Latin pronunciation of “amen” is “ahmen,” not “aymen,” and since Latin masses are less prevalent now, I think we can blame the vowel shift at least partly on that. However, whenever I go to mass, the collective sound usually still stays “ahmen.”

I say Amen with the “ah” sound in it. Many don’t, as it really doesn’t matter, but I prefer it since it’s a more traditional approach, and because I try to say the Rosary with Mother Angelica and the Nuns at our Lady of Angels everyday and they say it like that, so now it’s become a habit of mine to say it like that accidentally (Sometimes in front of people that hate it when it’s pronounced that way!).

Like I said, it doesn’t really matter. When sung, there is no ifs or buts about it. It MUST be sung with the “ah” noise, because otherwise the tone and sound of the song suffers horrendously, but you may choose to do it any way you want. Honestly, I’d be happier if the “ah” was a bit more popular, as I find the “aye” pronunciation to be far too Protestant. After all, as far as I know, they are the ones that first started doing that anyway.



In English, the word “Amen” has two common pronunciations: Ahh-men or Ay-men. The Ahh-men pronunciation is the one that is used in performances of classical music, in churches with more formalized rituals and liturgy and liberal Evangelical Protestant denominations. The ay-men pronunciation, a product of the Great Vowel Shift dating to the fifteenth century, is associated with Irish Protestantism and conservative Evangelical Protestant denominations generally, and the pronunciation that is typically sung in gospel music. Increasingly, anglophone Roman Catholics are adopting the “ay-men” pronunciation.

Jews usually pronounce the word as it is pronounced in Hebrew: “ah-MAIN.”

I don’t say either one; I usually say “awe-men.”

I have never actually heard anyone say “ah-men” (short “a” sound as in “cat” or “hat”) other than native speakers of Farsi.

Do you mean to be writing awe-men?

Well that 'splians it Lucy. My family is Scotts-Irish and very Evangelical Protestant.

Since aymen sounds so fundamentalist, I will continue saying ahmen even if I do get “looks”.

Yes I meant awmen.

Thank you, that makes way more sense now. :slight_smile:

ah, like ahhhhhhhhh that was good. ahmen is awe-men

It’s probably a regional difference; if I say “ahhh, that was good,” it still rhymes with “cat” or “hat.” and sounds nothing at all like “awe.”

Lol, so if you were getting a back massage, you’d say, “Ahhhh,” and it would sound like the “a” in “cat” or “bat” or “mat?”

Yes. :slight_smile:

Yeah, it depends a lot on your accent too.

Someone from Newfoundland, Dorset, Ireland, Glasgow, or Cardiff might say “Ahhmen” or a more “a-men” as in “cat”.

I don’t know about the US too much, but It seems they say more of an “ahhmen”, but those from the South US say more of an “ayymen”, since they have a different dialect from most of the US.

But, most of the time, no matter what English-speaking country you go to, I hear “ahmen”

Who cares? The discussion either way reminds me of the Pharassees in the New Testament and the arguments called a “pilpul” done by torah students in modern judiaism.
These arguments are the equivalent to the medieval argument of "how many angels fit on the head of a pin? ".

Is it a big deal? I think you’re reading too much in to this.


And in this case, it ought to be a AAAYYY-men. :stuck_out_tongue:

Aymen was popularized by Sidney Poitier.


Maybe a little speaking in tongues for good measure!:smiley:

I thought it may have been Oral Roberts, Kenneth Copeland, Charles Capps, etc:shrug: