By Gabriella Ceraso
A song is being developed to journey together towards World Youth Day in Lisbon 2023. The lyrics are ready and draw inspiration from the theme of WYD 2021: “Stand up. I appoint you as a witness of what you have seen” (from Acts 26:16). The new song is entitled “Jesus says to me: Get up!” and it will become the soundtrack of the World Day that will be celebrated in the local churches and dioceses this November 21, the Feast of Christ the King, according to the plans established by Pope Francis. It is not an official hymn, but one more element to help spread among young people the Lord’s invitation to “Stand up (arise).”
This marks the starting point for the Ramón Pané Foundation’s “WYD Challenge 2021”, developed together with the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life and the Cristonautas program. The idea is to develop a special choreography based on this song and so follow up on the invitation expressed by the Pope in his Message to young people during WYD 2020 to offer “the world, the Church and other young people something beautiful, whether in the realm of the spirit, the arts or society.” It is just one of the many ideas that have been proposed for years by episcopal conferences, dioceses, eparchies, parishes, and movements around the world.
The closing date for entries to the choreography competition is Sunday, 14 November 2021. The winners will be announced on the Feast of Christ the King through the website www.cristonautas.com, with the prize being free participation in Lisbon WYD 2023 celebrations.
Young people, protagonists of the Church
The song was produced and published by the Ramón Pané Foundation with the Cristonautas program to encourage young people to be protagonists in these decisive times that the Church is experiencing. The work was written – the authors explain – after a process of reflection following the method of Lectio Divina, by Brother Ricardo Grzona, executive director of the Ramón Pané Foundation of Honduras. Published in Spanish, English, and Portuguese, it is a form of “inculturation” with “modern rhythms.”
“In thinking about what a reflection process would look like for this WYD 2021, we look again at our Church and try to understand, especially how young people understand things. So we did what the first evangelizer of America, Ramón Pané, did in 1494, by ‘inculturating’ us.” That’s why, in producing the video, the Ramón Pané Foundation brought together some of the Catholic Christian singers from various countries. “We joined them,” they said, “to sing the first song in three languages (Spanish, Portuguese and English). We believe it will be the first song with these types of characteristics in the Church and perhaps in the secular world.”
He added, “We want to give young people tools for reflection, prayer and encourage them to participate in this year’s World Youth Day 2021 and in preparation for Lisbon 2023.”
“Stand up!” motto with voices from all over the Americas
As the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life has announced, the theme chosen by the Pope for WYD 2021 at the diocesan level is “Stand up. I appoint you as a witness of what you have seen.” The announcement said, “This spiritual path traced by the Pope continues in continuity with the reflection begun at the last World Youth Day in Panama in 2019 and with the synodal path, in particular with the Apostolic Exhortation Christus Vivit. The invitation to young people is to stand up (arise), to endeavour to live the call of the Lord, and to spread the Good News, as the Virgin Mary did after pronouncing her ‘Here I am’. In fact, the verb ‘to get up’ in the original text of St. Luke also has the meaning of ‘to rise up,’ ‘to awaken to life.
The music, composed by Maestro Roberto Assalini, was performed by the singers who participated in the video clip launch, including, from Brazil: Marcos Tonasse and Fray Rená Barros; from Peru: Elton Rey; from Colombia-USA: Johann Alvarez; from Venezuela-Panama Fray Richard, from the United States: Alvaro Vega (Communion), The Call Music Ministry (Liana Lopez, Lauren Lopez, Andrea Jimenez, Nancy (Nana) Cristobal, Luis Lopez, CJ Cristobal); from the Dominican Republic: Encuentro Cristo (Katty Rivera, Carmela Diaz, Susana Arias). “The singers have come together offering an international experience,” the organizers say as a way “to show that young people from all countries can participate together and that languages are not a barrier to praising the Lord”.
Address to send videos with choreography to: firstname.lastname@example.org