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Souterliedekens, a Dutch medieval term for Psalms, were much used in the 16th-century Reformation period. "The Souterliedekens, though intended for the use of the Catholics, form the transition to the congregational singing of the Reformed" (Wolkan). A well-known edition was the one published at Antwerp, Belgium, in 1540 under the title Souterliedekens, Ghemaeckt ter eeren Gods op alle die Psalmen van David: tot stichtinghe ende een gheestelijcke vermakinghe van allen Christen menschen. This edition was reprinted more than 30 times under a variety of titles, the last reprint having been published in 1652 by Karel de Fleger (Vlieger), a Mennonite printer at Hamburg, Germany.

Though the early Dutch Anabaptists knew the "souterliedekens" and some martyrs are said to have sung a "souterlieken," these Psalms were apparently not popular among the Anabaptists: the reason may have been that the "souterliedekens" had come from Catholicism, with which they wished to make a complete break. They preferred to sing the "liedekens" (songs) written by or in honor of the martyrs, and it was not before the publication of the Lietboeck of Hans de Ries in 1582, which contained some Psalms, that singing of Psalms was introduced in at least a number of Mennonite congregations. (See also Psalms and Hymnology.)


Wieder, F. C. Schriftuurlijke Liedekens. The Hague, 1900: 129 et passim.

Wolkan, Rudolf. Die Lieder der Wiedertäufer. Berlin, 1903. Reprinted Nieuwkoop: B. De Graaf, 1965: 58.

Author(s) Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1959

Cite This Article

MLA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. "Souterliedekens." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 24 Apr 2018.

APA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. (1959). Souterliedekens. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 24 April 2018, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 582. All rights reserved.

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