“Tell the World of His Love” returns for Pope

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Back in 1995, Trina Belamide was not well known to most Filipinos. Was…until World Youth Day 1995 in Manila, Philippines. Who could ever forget the more than 5 million souls singing the song she composed for that historic event, “Tell the World of His Love”?

Composer Trina Belamide was herself surprised to learn that her WYD song "Tell the World of His Love" will be sung in Papal events of Pope Francis in the Philippines (photo from Trina Belamide's personal collection)

Composer Trina Belamide was herself surprised to learn that her WYD song “Tell the World of His Love” will be sung in Papal events of Pope Francis in the Philippines (photo from Trina Belamide’s personal collection)

No one did ever forget it since exactly 20 years after that song was sung at that record-breaking papal event, her song was once again sung at a historic papal event. “Tell the World of His Love” was the recessional hymn for Pope Francis’s first mass in the Philippines, celebrated January 16 at the Cathedral – Basilica of the Immaculate Conception more commonly known as Manila Cathedral.

Belamide will be singing in the Papal Mass at the Luneta as a member of the grand choir. She was rehearsing with the rest of the choir when a friend told her the great news. “I was at a rehearsal for the Papal Mass (I’m a member of the Ateneo Chamber Singers and we are one of the choirs singing for the mass) when I bumped into a friend of mine who asked if I already heard the arrangement of my song.” She said she was surprised to know that her song would be sung. Add to that, other choristers already had a copy of the piece but she hasn’t received hers yet,” she shared with CBCPNews.

After confirming that her song is indeed going to be sung again at papal events in the Philippines, Belamide said she “was very happy, of course!”

The official liturgy booklet of the papal visit of the Philippines listed “Tell the World of His Love” as the concluding songs for both the UST Encounter with the Youth and the Concluding Mass at the Quirino Grandstand.

The Media Handbook of the Apostolic Visit to the Philippines describes the singing of Belamide’s song as the Holy Father’s way of sending the people in attendance at the Concluding Mass as “instruments of God’s mercy and compassion”. This is the same reason behind the choice of the song as the final hymn to the UST Encounter with the Youth.

Belamide couldn’t agree more. She shares that the inspiration behind the song is the theme of World Youth Day 1995 which was taken from John 20:21: “As the Father has sent me so I send you.”

“ ‘Tell The World Of His Love’ is about going out into the world and spreading God’s message of love, so the message isn’t all that different from Pope Francis’ message of reaching out and showing compassion to those who most need it,” she shares.

After all these years, Belamide recognized the great impact the song left to the entire Church in the Philippines: it has become a de facto papal event song.

“I’ve come to realize the song will always be associated with not just Pope/Saint John Paul II but with any other pope or papal event. I guess it’s because World Youth Day ’95 was such a big event for us Filipinos, something we all have fond memories of. The song brings us back to a happy time in our history.”

And every papal event in the country is indeed a happy time in our country’s history. The world watches in anticipation as to how many Filipinos will join the Holy Father’s Mass at the Luneta and sing that historic and meaningful song “Tell the World of His Love”

If the message of her song is to answer God’s call to tell the world of God’s love, what would Belamide tell the pope if given the chance to meet and talk to him?

“I would tell him I think he is the coolest pope ever! And that I will always worry about and pray for his security and safety, and that I hope he will be our pope for a very, very long time.” (Rommel Lopez / CBCPNews)

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