In the prayers of exorcism it is the person exorcised who is expected to say "Amen", and in the conferring of sacred orders, when the vestments, etc., are given to the candidate by the bishop with some prayer of benediction, it is again the candidate who responds, just as in the solemn blessing of the Mass the people answer in the person of the server.
As regards these liturgical formul in the "Didache", which include the Our Father, we may, however, perhaps suppose that the Amen was not written because it was taken for granted that after the doxology those present would answer Amen as a matter of course. 197) we find a series of short prayers spoken by the Saint to which the bystanders regularly answer Amen. We may fairly infer from this that before the middle of the second century it had become a familiar praclice for one who prayed alone to add Amen by way of conclusion.
Again, in the apocryphal but early "Acta Johannis" (ed. But it cannot have been very long before the Amen was in many cases added by the utterer of the prayer. This usage seems to have developed even in public worship, and in the second half of the fourth century, in the earliest form of the liturgy which affords us any safe data, that of the Apostolic Constitutions , we find that in only three instances is it clearly indicated that Amen is to be said by the congregation (i.e.
The Amen who is also the beginning would thus suggest much the same idea as "I am Alpha and Omegain Scripture) " of Apoc., I, 5, or "The first and the last" of Apoc., ii, 8.
The employment of Amen in the synagogues as the people's answer to a prayer said aloud by a representative must no doubt have been adopted in their own worship by the Christians of the Apostolic age.
When Amen is thus used by Our Lord to introduce a statement He seems especially to make a demand upon the faith of His hearers in His word or in His power; e.g.