Thursday, June 17, 2010

The story of the World Youth Day theme songs

Courtesy of Rome Reports


World Youth Day brings together youths from all over the world. It takes place annually in each diocese and every two years there is an international meeting. Each World Youth Day has as its motto a phrase from the Bible, and the international gatherings also have an official song.

The song for World Youth Day Madrid in 2011 has already been approved. It is based on the phrase from Saint Paul “Rooted and built up in Jesus Christ, firm in the faith” which is the theme of the Day. But it won't be presented until November.

World Youth Day songs invite youths to reflect upon the Gospel's key points which the pope focuses on at the gathering.

In 1987 in Buenos Aires a million people were called by the pope to actively contribute to the creation of a better society. The song of that World Youth Day was called “A new sun” and its words highlighted love as the only way to build a new civilization.

The theme of World Youth Day in 1991 was celebrated in Czestochowa, Poland, it was Saint Paul's message to the Romans: “You have received the spirit of sons.” The song of the Day was “Abba Father” and reflected on each person's relationship with God as Father.

Another famous song is from World Youth Day in Denver, in the United States, in 1993: “We are one body.” Singer Dana Scallon interpreted the song in front of John Paul II and 120,000 youths.

In Manila, Philippines, in 1995 the song was “Tell the world of His love”. At that World Youth Day more than 5 million people attended, which was the event with the most number of participants in history. [I was part of that history!] The song won several awards including the “Awit” for Best Inspirational Song.

The 15th World Youth Day was celebrated in Rome and coincided with the Jubilee of the year 2000. The song “Emmanuel” is perhaps the most famous of all.

The song of the upcoming World Youth Day in Madrid will premiere at the festival of the Virgin of Almudena, next November 9th. With that song youths can come together as one voice at World Youth Day in 2011.


  1. Oh come on Josemaria. I just listen to them. I do not want them in the Mass. I have them in my Mp3 player. Just in there. Definitely out of the Holy Sacrifice.

  2. My goodness Josemaria! Is there something wrong with writing about a non-liturgical song that is sang in an event instituted by John Paul II and supported and attended by Benedict XVI?

    Is there something wrong with writing about it? I quoted a report from Rome Reports about the songs of WYD? Is there something wrong about it? Does it make me less of a traddie? Loosen up.