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Gij die on in dit leven het geroepen - Voorbede = You Who Have Called Us In This Life - Biddings, 1978 - 1981


Scope and Contents

Intercession for Cantor, Schola and Assembly with Keyboard (Organ) Accompaniment


  • Publication: 1978 - 1981


Biographical / Historical

You Who have called us? You who is among the several forms of address which Oosterhuis uses for the Deity Gij die. This is a statement drawn from memory and experience, such as in You Who have led us out of slavery, You Who have brought across the dry land us into this land of promise. This may sound strange to the Anglo-American ear, yet it is one other way to describe One who is beyond all names, beyond all descriptions. And this has always been the traditional way of addressing the Deity in the Roman Missal.

Popule meus - My people, what have I done to you, how have I aggrieved you? is the chant setting Huijbers chose for this piece. It was taken from the Reproaches which were sung during the Good Friday veneration of the Cross. This was an adaptation of the Jewish dayenu song form, a specific literary form based on parallelism, Even if you had done only this for us, that would have been enough for us. The Roman adaptation differs, almost as a reversal of this form, Even though I did that for you, you nevertheless did this to me. Called the Improperia - Reproaches, these processional chants were found in an IX Century Pontificale. Spreading across Europe, they were eventually incorporated into the Roman Ordo in the XIVth Century. By then, a theology of sacrificial redemption had taken hold of western Liturgy, and despite the reforms of Vatican II, it is still with us, impeding many indigenous approaches to the texts of ritual within worship. The Dutch look not to this but to the presence of the Risen Jesus entangled in the human condition.

Huijbers chose his melody as a way of reminding us what has been promised to us. It is in the Gregorian mode V, a Lydian mode with accidentals. Oosterhuis wrote his text as a prayer of entreaty or intercession, lest we should treat one another with disdain. Life after all is a gift, and only in sharing does it become meaningful. There is no room for self-centeredness or self-imposed isolation. We belong to one another; this is innate in the soul of humanity. In the same way, the Native American regards existence as the web of life, intutively express a shared responsibility for nourishing all of Creation. - Tony Barr


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Language of Materials


Alternate Numbering

BH IAL 12 JM 250

Repository Details

Part of the Saint John's University Archives and Special Collections Repository

P O Box 2500
Alcuin Library
Collegeville Minnesota 56321 United States