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WYD Lisbon 2023 theme song inspires us to make haste like Mary

Louisa Florentin

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Everyone will hear our voice, / Todos vão ouvir a nossa voz,
Let us lift our arms, There's a rush in the air. / Levantemos os braços, há pressa no ar.
Jesus lives and does not leave us alone: / Jesus vive e não nos deixa sós:
We will not cease to love. / Não mais deixaremos de amar.
Literal translation of the chorus of «Há Pressa no Ar»
 
On Wednesday, January 27th, the theme song for World Youth Day Lisbon 2023 was released to the public.  «Há Pressa no Ar» (“There’s a Rush in the Air”) focuses on Mary’s visit to her cousin Elizabeth when she “went with haste” (Lk 1:39). This is a beautiful continuation of WYD Panama 2019, which focused on Mary’s fiat (Lk 1:38). Though past years have not exclusively focused on Mary, the common thread among all World Youth Days is how we respond to God’s call.
 
Creating the theme song
João Paulo Vaz, a priest, and Pedro Ferreira, a teacher and musician, were chosen among hundreds of contestants to compose the song. Friends for years and both belonging to the Diocese of Coimbra, Ferreira began with a simple melody he composed in “a small room, alone by the piano”, and Fr. Vaz added the lyrics. The priest tied together previous WYD themes, with special emphasis on connecting WYD Panama 2019 to the WYD Lisbon 2023 theme.
In creating the song, Ferreira and Fr. Vaz noted how their relationship to Our Lady deepened during the process. “It’s quite funny that I got the news about the song being chosen on the month of completing 25 years of priesthood,” said Fr. Vaz. “The joy was immense, it was an overflowing moment, realizing that something emerging in a small room, in a small place, would gain wings and fly,” remarked Ferreira.
 
A life-giving urge to “get up”
As preparations for WYD Lisbon 2023 continue, the Directorate of Pastoral and Central Events has outlined verses from the Bible that will encompass the worldwide gathering.
“Young man, I tell you, arise!” (Lk 7:14)  
"Get up now, and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness of what you have seen [of me] and what you will be shown.”  ( Acts 26: 16).
"Mary set out and went with haste." (Lk 1:39) 
A dead man brought back to life, a persecutor of Christians who later became a follower of Christ, and Mary — what do they all have in common? When they encountered the life-giving power and light of God, they got up from where they were, forever changed.
With these symbols, verses, and now a new theme song, we are given the tools to prepare ourselves not only for the exciting events of WYD Lisbon 2023 but for the yes we can give today. The WYD Lisbon 2023 theme song inspires youth from around the world to turn to Our Lady for guidance and embody her haste to spread the Good News of the Lord.
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