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Official World Youth Day 2002 Theme Song
Light Of The World
by Robert Lebel


"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)

The One that we have seen with our own eyes,
The One that we have touched and felt with our own hands,
The One that we have heard with our own ears,
The One that in the depths of our hearts we have met:
He is the One who we proclaim to you...
His splendour is on all,
For he shines upon the world.

So many in our world drift into sleep,
while others only know a darkness without end.
Let brothers rise to call them from the deep!
Let sisters take their hands to heal and be
their friends.
Together, let us stand against the storm
and in the heart of night be the watchers of the morn.

The light of the world
The salt of the earth,
We scatter the darkness
When love becomes our way.
The light of the world
Christ is our light.
We shine with his brightness,
The reflection of his light
From day to day!

So many feel that they have yet to find
The meaning of their lives, their value and their worth;
If we just walked along with hearts made kind...
And listened to their tales and sought to ease their hurt;
Perhaps they’d hearken to the news we bear,
And in the broken bread,
Come to know true love and care! Refrain

No worth has salt if it should lose its taste.
No usefulness has light if it is hid’n away!
So may our souls, our hearts, our minds be graced,
And for the Spirit’s gifts and power let us pray!
May truth abide in everything we do;
May love and justice reign!
And may God our world renew! Refrain

Light of the World (International Version with guitar chords)

Celui que de nos yeux nous avons vu,

Esus4 E A
Celui que de nos mains nous avons pu toucher,

Celui que nos oreilles ont entendu,

Esus4 E A Bm A/C#
Celui que dans nos cœurs nous avons rencontré

D C#m7
Voilà Celui que nous vous annonçons

F#m7 A/D
Et qui a resplendi

Bm7 Esus4 E
Sur la terre ou nous vivons!

So many in our world drift into sleep,
while others only know a darkness without end.
Let brothers rise to call them from the deep!
Let sisters take their hands to heal and be
their friends.
Together, let us stand against the storm
and in the heart of night be the watchers of the morn.


Lumière du Monde!

Sel de la Terre!

Soyons pour le Monde

G(add9) Esus4 E
Visage de l’Amour!

The light of the world

Christ is our light.

We shine with his brightness,

A/C# D Bm7
The reflection of his light

D/E D(add2)
From day to day!

Hay tantos que se pierden al buscar
Sentido de vivir, razones para amar.
Si los pudiéramos acompañar
Compartir su dolor, presentarles a Jesús;
Quizás ellos pudiesen comprender
Que es en el partir del pan
Que podemos renacer. Refrain

La gente dove andare più non sa,
In noi cercando va l’amore che non ha:
Il senso della vita troverà
Facendo insieme a noi la Comunitá
Così potrá conoscere Gesú
Spezzando il pane che
Vita eterna donerá. Refrain


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