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531

God, You Call Us to This Place

Scripture References

Thematically related:

Further Reflections on Scripture References

John 4:23 speaks of God’s desire that we worship him (stanza 1). Ephesians 6:1-4 speaks of the unity of the church (stanza 2). Romans 6:1-10 speaks of our rebirth through water (stanza 3). And I Peter 2:9 and 10 speak of our priestly royal race (stanza 3).

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Our coming together is not first of all an action of our own initiative, but is of God’s initiative. He does the gathering. The Confessions are careful to use terminology that identifies God’s gathering action. Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 21, Question and Answer 54 says, “The Son of God through his Spirit and Word…gathers...” Our World Belongs to God, paragraph 30 testifies “The Spirit gathers people…into the unity of the body of Christ.” The Belhar Confession, Section 1 refers to the Trinity. “…The triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit…gathers, protects and cares for the church through Word and Spirit.”

 

We celebrate with joy that Christ has come to rescue us from sin and evil through the work of his son, Jesus Christ. Our World Belongs to God, paragraph 35 identifies the church as “the fellowship of those who confess Jesus as Lord…the bride of Christ…”

 

Belgic Confession, Article 21 professes how Jesus Christ is a high priest forever and provided for the cleansing of our sins; Article 10 proclaims him as the “true eternal God, the Almighty, whom we invoke, worship and serve.” Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 1, Question and Answer 2 calls us to “live and die in the joy of this comfort” and “to thank God for such deliverance.”

 

God calls his children from many sources, languages, nations, and from a variety of social standings and personal needs. The Confessions are very clear on this. Belgic Confession teaches in Article 27, “This holy church is not confined, bound, or limited to a certain place or certain people.” Our World Belongs to God, paragraph 30 reminds us, “The Spirit gathers people from every tongue, tribe and nation...” and in paragraph 34 teaches that “all are welcome…the homeless…the broken…the sinner…the despised…the least…and the last…”

 

Stanza 3 says “with the water we were born of the Spirit in the Son”; the teachings of Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 27, Question and Answer 73 tell us that the water of baptism is “the water of rebirth and the washing away of sins.”

531

God, You Call Us to This Place

Tune Information

Name
SALZBURG
Key
D Major
Meter
7.7.7.7 D

Recordings

531

God, You Call Us to This Place

Hymn Story/Background

When asked about this hymn, Delores Dunfer writes:
 
In 1987 I was director of the office of worship for the Diocese of St. Cloud, Minnesota, which included 146 mostly small, rural parishes with volunteer musicians. I wanted to write hymns with them in mind, hymns set to familiar public domain tunes. I first wrote this text as a gathering hymn for Sunday Eucharist. Then, when I was scheduled to lead a prayer service for liturgical ministers, I adapted it with the text you have, so that the readers, ministers of hospitality, and communion ministers attending my workshop would be able to find themselves in the hymn. I will never forget the joyful expression of recognition on the face of an elderly woman as she sang about God’s generous hospitality and her own role in the liturgy.
 
I wrote with the tune ST. GEORGE’S WINDSOR in mind, because I judged it was well-known in my diocese, and because it has strong associations with the theme of thanksgiving (the meaning of Eucharist).
 
— Delores Dufner

The tune SALZBURG, named after the Austrian city made famous by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, was first published anonymously in the nineteenth edition of Praxis Pietatis Melica (1678); in that hymnbook's twenty-fourth edition (1690) the tune was attributed to Jakob Hintze. The harmonization by Johann S. Bach is simplified from his setting in his Choralgesänge.
— Bert Polman

Author Information

Delores Dufner (b. 1939) is a member of St. Benedict’s Monastery in St. Joseph, Minnesota, with Master's Degrees in Liturgical Music and Liturgical Studies.  She is currently a member and a Fellow of the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada, the National Pastoral Musicians (NPM), the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP), and the Monastic Worship Forum. 
 
Delores is a writer of liturgical, scripturally based hymn and song texts which have a broad ecumenical appeal and are contracted or licensed by 34 publishers in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, and China.  She has received more than 50 commissions to write texts for special occasions or needs and has published over 200 hymns, many of which have several different musical settings and appear in several publications. She is the author of three hymn collections: Sing a New Church (1994, Oregon Catholic Press), The Glimmer of Glory in Song (2004, GIA Publications), and And Every Breath, a Song (2011, GIA Publications).     
 
Delores, the middle child of five, was born and raised on a farm in the Red River Valley of North Dakota.  She attended a one-room country school in which she learned to read music and play the tonette, later studying piano and organ.
 
Delores was a school music teacher, private piano and organ instructor, and parish organist/choir director for twelve years. She served as liturgy coordinator for her religious community of 775 members for six years and as Director of the Office of Worship for the Diocese of St. Cloud, Minnesota for fifteen years. She subsequently worked as a liturgical music consultant for the Diocese of Ballarat, Victoria in southeast Australia for fifteen months. At present she is preparing a fourth hymn collection and assisting with liturgy planning and music leadership at the monastery. 
— Delores Dufner

Composer Information

Partly as a result of the Thirty Years' War and partly to further his musical education, Jakob Hintze (b. Bernau, Germany, 1622; d. Berlin, Germany, 1702) traveled widely as a youth, including trips to Sweden and Lithuania. In 1659 he settled in Berlin, where he served as court musician to the Elector of Brandenburg from 1666 to 1695. Hintze is known mainly for his editing of the later editions of Johann Crüger's Praxis Pietatis Melica, to which he contributed some sixty-five of his original tunes.
— Bert Polman

Johann Sebastian Bach (b. Eisenach, Germany, 1685; d. Leipzig, Germany, 1750) came from a family of musicians. He learned to play violin, organ, and harpsichord from his father and his older brother, Johann Christoph. Bach's early career developed in Arnstadt and Muhlhausen, particularly at the court of Duke Wilhelm Ernst in Weimar. During this period he composed cantatas and most of his large organ works. In 1717 Bach became director of music for Prince Leopold in Anhalt-Cathen, for whom he composed much of his instrumental music-orchestral suites and concertos as well as The Well-Tempered Clavier. In 1723 he was appointed cantor of the Thomas Schule at Leipzig and director at St. Thomas and St. Nicholas churches and at the University of Leipzig. During that time he wrote his large choral works, 165 cantatas, and more compositions for organ and harpsichord. Although Bach's contribution to church music was immense and his stature as the finest composer of the Baroque era unparal­leled, he composed no hymn tunes for congregational use. He did, however, harmo­nize many German chorales, which he used extensively in his cantatas, oratorios, and organ works. These harmonizations were published posthumously by his son Carl Phillip Emmanuel as 371 Vierstimmige Choralgesiinge.
— Bert Polman

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