The official hymn for World Youth Day 2011 was released on the eve of November 9th, Feast of the Virgin of Almudena, Patroness of Madrid.
“Firm in the Faith,” was performed by the Youth Orchestra of the Community of Madrid and the Youth Choir of the Escolanía de El Escorial. Both groups have participated in the taping of the theme song, which will be distributed starting November 19th.
The hymn is based on the theme for WYD2011 from St. Paul, “Planted and Built up in Jesus Christ, Firm in the Faith.”
The refrain of the song in Spanish:Firmes en la fe, caminamos en Cristo,Nuestro Amigo, nuestro Señor.¡Gloria siempre a Él! ¡Gloria siempre a Él!Caminamos en Cristo firmes en la fe,
Firm in the faith, we walk in Christ,Our Friend, Our Lord.Glory always to Him! Glory always to Him!We walk in Christ firm in the faith.
It is not usual that the author of the lyrics of a WYD theme song is the person in charge of the event: Msgr. César Franco, General Coordinator of the WYD and Auxilary bishop of Madrid, says that, “the verses show forth the Humanity of Christ in the traditional Spanish mystical style, and aim to bring that Humanity closer to the young people.”
The music was composed by Fr. Enrique Vázquez, a priest and religious composer. Fr. Vázquez remembers the composition process by saying that, “the first challenge was to think of a melody that would help to understand, sing, and pray the text.”
He continues: “the verses begin with a more lyrical character which reflect the amazement, admiration, and gratefulness to the Person and work of Our Lord.”
Three versions of the song have been recorded: a liturgical one, an instrumental one (for large choirs), and a popular version to be accompanied by a guitar. The three versions and the sheet music, are available for free download here.
Editorial San Pablo (St. Paul Publishing) is the publisher of the theme song and the upcoming CD will be available here.
The international version of the song as a music video is currently in production and will be released in the months to come.