WORLD YOUTH DAY
Official World Youth Day 2002
"The light of the world, the salt of the earth, we scatter the darkness when love becomes our way". This uplifting refrain will echo through Toronto in July 2002.
With lyrics in French, English, Italian and Spanish, this majestic anthem - accented by irresistible world beat rhythms - is a testament to the unifying of cultures that can take place through faith and music.
Light of the World is closely linked with the WYD theme: "You are the salt of the earth, you are the light of the world" (Mt 5: 13-14), and the Pope’s message inviting youth to WYD. The song will be a rallying point for the young people who will attend and from now until then, it will also be their preparatory song.
At past WYDs, the theme song has always been part of the unforgettable memories, and afterwards it allows participants relive their experiences and emotions.
Light of the World was composed by Fr. Robert Lebel of Quebec, a well-known French-language composer of religious music. He said: "The challenge was great, but I trusted in the Holy Spirit, asking and hoping for the grace of inspiration". Fr. Lebel was born in the Eastern Townships region of Quebec and was ordained a priest in 1976. He is a member of the Voluntas Dei Institute. He began his recording career in 1979 with an album entitled Printemps de Dieu (Springtime of God). Since then, he has recorded 25 albums and almost 150,000 copies of his recordings have been sold.
The English version of the song was prepared by Msgr. Paul-André Durocher, Auxiliary Bishop of the Sault Ste-Marie diocese in Ontario.
Pedro Guevara-Mann, the WYD Artistic Director, said: "The song and music have been a special blessing. This is truly music to pray to".
Speaking about the Pope’s July 2001 letter of invitation to the youth of the world to attend WYD 2002, Fr. Lebel said: "This magnificent letter had rich and beautiful expressions that attracted my attention, such as ‘in the heart of the night’, ‘watchmen of the morning’, and ‘it is the nature of human beings, and especially youth, to seek the Absolute’".
Fr. Thomas Rosica, C.S.B., National Director and Chief Executive Officer of World Youth Day 2002 said: "The song was truly a labor of love that united the country. It was written by Fr. Robert Lebel, a leading liturgical composer from Quebec, translated into English by Bishop Paul-André Durocher, Canada's youngest bishop and a brilliant musician, and performed by young musicians from throughout the entire country. Light Of The World is not only the signature of Canada's World Youth Day, but it is a reminder to the whole Church and the world that the powers of darkness and fear will not triumph. Christ is our light!".
The theme song is available in four versions: English, French, International (English, French, Spanish, Italian) and Instrumental.
Oregon Catholic Press (OCP) is the exclusive producer and distributor of the official WYD CD Light of the World/Lumière du Monde, which you can order now at the OCP Web site:
You can hear excerpts of the song by clicking below ( RealPlayer necessary):
Light of the World (English version)
Light of the World (International Version with guitar chords)