27 January 2021

WYD: two years after Panama we have new impetus for the journey to Lisbon

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On the second anniversary of the closing Mass of the 34th World Youth Day in Panama, the Lisbon Organising Committee presented the official theme song for the next international edition of WYD which will take place in the Portuguese capital in 2023. It is a joyful invitation to young people from all over the world to continue this pilgrimage of faith by way of WYD and to pray together in anticipation of their next meeting with the Holy Father. The WYD theme song is not only a tool for promoting the event, but it is above all a prayer that is translated into various languages and resonates in the Church all over the world.



As they sing this song, young people from all over the world will feel invited to identify with Mary and dispose themselves to service, mission and the transformation of the world," the Lisbon organisers explained in the official communiqué. The theme song is entitled Há Pressa no Ar (There is haste in the air), and was inspired by the theme of the next WYD: Mary arose and went with haste (Lk 1:39). The text was written by Fr João Paulo Vaz and the music was composed by Pedro Ferreira, a teacher and musician, both from the diocese of Coimbra, in central Portugal. It was arranged by the musician Carlos Garcia.

The theme (...) made me think again about my relationship with my Mother, and so the creative process of the words became a very profound time of prayer for me, said Fr João Paulo Vaz. The melody was created before the text, composed in a small room, on the piano, alone, commented Pedro Ferreira, and it was designed to bring a community together.

The theme song was selected through a national competition that attracted over 100 entries. It was published on the official channels of WYD Lisbon 2023 in 2 versions: Portuguese language and international.

Its presentation on the anniversary of the preceding WYD also reminds us that these meetings are like a relay race that continues over the years and brings positive benefits both to the participants and to the local Church that welcomes them.

It is precisely about the benefits of WYD on the lives of young people and the Church that Victor Chang, Executive Secretary of the Organising Committee of WYD Panama 2019, comments:

There have been many changes since WYD 2019, but the most important is the increased prominence of young people in our Church and in other areas. Young people have moved from being recipients to being agents. (...) We, who work with them and for them, are also aware of their role and potential, ready to give them their space and accompany them on this journey. This is a paradigm shift.