Source: Voices Together #688
|Title:||Amen (Service Music)|
"Amen" is a Hebrew expression that means "so be it" or "let it be true." The word connotes a sense of certainty and a conviction of truthfulness. The Old Testament Hebrew people used "amen" to affirm the rightness of God's judgments (see Deut. 27:15-26). But "amen" is also the New Testament believers' affirmation of God's promises, and the concluding acclamation to orthodox Christian praise and prayer (see 1 Cor. 14:16 and Rev. 5:14; 7:12).
"Amen" is familiar as the final word of prayers, a word of faith that portrays the strong conviction that God answers prayer. It is similarly used in some hymns, especially in select hymns of petition and certain hymns of profession of faith. Some hymnals still provide an "amen" for each hymn–a practice that arose in the nineteenth century when church choirs sang much of the service music and congregations added only their spoken or sung "amen." This practice is not followed in most modern hymnals.
As sung acclamations to spoken prayers and benedictions; congregations may want to sing the various settings at different times of the church year.
--Psalter Hymnal Handbook, 1987