Not an important topic, but I’m just curious: Why do Catholics pronounce it “ay-men” rather than “ah-men”? Has this always been the standard, or did it change at some point? If it changed, why? Was this an intentional change, or did it just naturally evolve that way?
p.s. I am aware that it is usually still pronouced “ah-men” when sung, but at Mass and just in general, I noticed that Catholics pronounce it “ay-men.”
Likewise, I’ve heard it pronounced both ways, at a guess the proportions are roughly equal. I’m one who’s actually changed my pronunciation in the last few years, to ah-men rather than ay-men, simply because I’ve come to prefer the sound of the former.
Right, I understand that both pronunciations are in use, and am not suggesting that one is better or more valid than the other (Greeks pronounce it “ah-meen” which is probably closest to the original).
What I am asking is: Isn’t “ah-men” the traditional western pronunciation? And, if so, when did “ay-men” become so prevalent? (I forgot to mention that I have been listening to Catholic Answers Live, and have noticed that they pronounce it “ay-men” every single time.)
I’ve traveled to a number of different countries and studied a number of different languages, including OT Hebrew and NT Greek. Only in American English is “amen” pronounced “ay-men.” I go with the original pronunciation, even when everyone around me isn’t.
According to the excellent ‘Catholic Dictionary’ by Father Peter Stravinskas, both pronunciations are acceptable. Incidentally, the same work contains a very helpful Guide to Pronunciation. Hope this helps.
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