With tropical Panamanian rhythms and inspired by the event’s theme, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done to me according to your word,” (Luke 1:38), the theme song for the XXXIV World Youth Day Panama 2019 was released during the Cena de Pan y Vino – a traditional annual event in the Archdiocese of Panama to raise funds for the San José Mayor Seminary.
The Archbishop of Panama, José Domingo Ulloa Mendieta, said that, “the theme song is a call to become disciples and missionaries in these times, following the example of the Virgin Mary”. He added, “We are excited to make this song available to young people around the world, so when they sing it, they may find joy and allow themselves to be transformed by God.”
The song was composed by Abdiel Jiménez, a catechist and psalmist of the Cristo Resucitado (Resurrected Christ) Parish in San Miguelito, Panama City. He is also the author of many liturgical songs and participates in various choirs. He graduated from the School of Religious Sciences at the Universidad Santa María La Antigua (USMA).
The hymn was chosen through a selection process that made a public call for submissions. A jury, comprised of renowned professionals from the music industry, narrowed down the selection of 56 songs to three finalists. The Executive Committee for WYD, along with the participation of the Pontifical Council for Laity, Family and Life in Rome, selected Mr. Jiménez’s composition as the event’s theme song.
A local musical production team of seasoned specialists worked together to arrange and produce the official version. Aníbal Muñoz, Carlos Samaniego and Ricky Ramírez collaborated to create the recording that was released today.
World Youth Day is a gathering that brings young people from around the world together with each other and the Pope in a festive, religious and cultural atmosphere, which displays the vitality of the Church and affirms the contemporary message of Jesus Christ. It is held every three years and the last one took place in Krakow in 2016. The dates for WYD Panama 2019 are January 22 to 27, 2019.
The aim of WYD is to encourage a personal encounter with Christ, who transforms our lives; to promote peace, unity and fraternity among the peoples and nations of the world, through the youth as ambassadors to all humankind.