The Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation yesterday published on its ‘Jubilee of Mercy’ website the winning entry in an international competition for a hymn setting for the Holy Year of Mercy. The music has been written by Paul Inwood, an English Catholic liturgical composer well known on both sides of the Atlantic. A substantial number of composers from around the world were invited to submit settings to a committee whose members included Monsignor Massimo Palombella, Director of the Sistine Chapel Choir, which has recorded the new hymn with Vatican Radio.
The hymn is currently available in Italian, English and French, and the author and composer have donated all rights in it to the Pontifical Council to aid its diffusion around the world.
Paul Inwood said: “It is a great honour for me that my setting was selected for the Holy Year of Mercy. The text we were given has a Latin antiphon and Italian verses interspersed with refrains in Latin, like a kind of litany. My music is also a mixture, with elements in the style of a Taizé response and a Gelineau tone. The verses work in any language ― I provided French and English translations ― and I deliberately kept the music very simple so that even the smallest parishes can hopefully make use of it. There is also some more elaborate music: a brass prelude and interludes, and a choral coda which is included in the recording.”
The Holy Year begins with the opening of the Holy Door in St Peter’s Basilica, Rome, on 8 December.
Links to the score and audio recording for the Holy Year of Mercy:
Pontifical Council’s Holy Year of Mercy webiste (Italian)