December 1, 2014
Official Hymn for September 2015 Event
Entitled "Sound the Bell of Holy Freedom," the hymn will serve as the musical cornerstone for
celebration of this triennial global event
Philadelphia, PA (December 1, 2014) - The World Meeting of Families - Philadelphia 2015, being held September 22-27, 2015, and featuring Pope Francis' first visit to the United States, has debuted the official hymn for this international gathering. Entitled "Sound the Bell of Holy Freedom," the hymn draws inspiration from the theme for the 2015 World Meeting of Families, "Love is our mission: the family fully alive," as well as the Roman Missal and Sacred Scripture. It was first performed by the Cathedral Choir during the Offertory Procession of the November 30th Sunday evening Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul celebrated by Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
Selected by a committee led by Auxiliary Bishop John J. McIntyre; Father G. Dennis Gill, Director of the Office for Worship of the Archdiocese; and Dr. John Romeri, Director of Music for the Archdiocese; "Sound the Bell of Holy Freedom" was formally approved as the official hymn by the Pontifical Council for the Family, the co-sponsor of the 2015 World Meeting of Families with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
The hymn tune, PHILADELPHIA, was written by composer Normand Gouin, former music director at Old St. Joseph in Philadelphia, who currently serves as a Musician and Liturgist at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. The text was penned by Fr. Andrew Ciferni, O.Praem, a nationally-known liturgist, teacher and scholar who is a native of South Philadelphia.
"Following the joyous news that Pope Francis will join us in Philadelphia next year, this hymn will further inspire all of us as we prepare for the 2015 World Meeting of Families," said Archbishop Chaput. "This event has the power to transform the lives of families - both Catholic and non-Catholic alike - in positive and charismatic ways. I'm confident that this hymn will affirm that spirit. With its powerful words and melody, 'Sound the Bell of Holy Freedom' is an excellent choice for our official hymn and I hope it encourages all who hear it to deepen their daily relationship with God and with their own families in significant ways."
In addition to the official hymn for the World Meeting of Families - Philadelphia 2015, a second hymn, "Look Up and Count the Stars," has also been selected for use throughout the week-long conference and masses. Music and text for this hymn were written by Dr. Peter Latona, Music Director for the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.
For more information about the World Meeting of Families - Philadelphia 2015, its official hymn or to register for the conference, please visit worldmeeting2015.org.
The World Meeting of Families - Philadelphia 2015 Official Hymn
Sound the bell of holy freedom; call all nations of the earth.
Sons and daughters of one Father, sent to spread God's saving Word.
Come, and gather, as one fam'ly at the table of the Lord.
David branch from root of Jesse, Mary that vine's flow'ring rose.
She brought forth for us the Savior as the angel did propose;
Overshadowed by the Spirit, by her "yes" new life arose.
Blessed Joseph, spouse of Mary, teacher of your God and Lord,
You did shelter and provide for wondrous child by kings adored.
Open to God's Word in dreaming saved your child from Herod's sword.
Jesus, youth in low'ly Naz'reth, faithful son, and loving child,
Guest and host at Cana's wedding, finest wine you did provide.
You, our rock, and you our shelter, keep us ever by your side.
At the cross, a grieving mother, on the cross, her only son,
With all mothers and their children, Blessed Mary, you are one.
In our joys, and in our sorrows may we do as you have done.
Sound the bell of holy freedom; call all fam'lies of the world
To be fed by love incarnate; to proclaim God's holy Word;
Through the love of Christ our brother, in the Spirit make us one.
Text: Andrew D. Ciferni, O. Praem, b. 1942
Tune: PHILADELPHIA, 8 7 8 7 8 7: Normand Gouin, b. 1970
© World Meeting of Families - Philadelphia 2015
About the World Meetings of Families
Beginning with 1994, The Year of the Family, the Pontifical Council for the Family has been responsible for organizing the World Meetings of Families in Rome (1994); Rio de Janeiro (1997); Rome (2000); Manila (2003); Valencia (2006); Mexico City (2009); Milan (2012); and now, Philadelphia (2015). Since its inception by Saint John Paul II, the World Meeting of Families has sought to strengthen the sacred bonds of family across the globe.
Kenneth A. Gavin
Director of Communications