Like many Catholics, my wife Allicia and I wish we were in Madrid for World Youth Day this week. Thousands of Catholics our age will be there to celebrate the faith, complete with a visit from Papa Benedict.
Unfortunately, we're a little short on the cash that it would take to spend a week in Spain, so we'll have to leave WYD to the richer Catholics. However, there is one aspect of WYD I'm glad I don't have to be present for, and that is the World Youth Day theme song.
Good God, could we have picked a worse tune. Take a listen and see for yourself.
Sure, that theme is OK, and Cherrie Anderson sounds like a fine musician. But for a World Youth rally? I nearly jumped out of the window of my five-story office when I heard that was the song that got the selection.
Call me silly, but I think this is an instance of the leaders in charge playing it "safe" and picking something that World Senior Day attendees would enjoy, not something that Youth would enjoy. I really, REALLY, think they are out of touch.
Why? It's as simple as the wording on their official web site. They refer to every WYD theme song as a "hymn." Hymns are great. I love hymns and wouldn't want anything different in Mass. But the theme song doesn't have to be one of those songs. Feel free to give someone a song that has a little more energy!
For further review at that same web site, listen to the theme song selections from the 1980s. They don't sound that much different than what was chosen today, proof that our Catholic leaders need to steal a page from our Evangelical brothers and sisters when it comes to music that sounds great.
For proof that Catholic singers can create great, pump it up tunes, listen to this song from Matt Maher, called "Your Grace Is Enough."
It's spiritually sound, it sounds fun, gets you amped up, and it's number 632 in your Catholic hymnal. Seems like that song fits the criteria.
Here's hoping that Matt Maher does the music for the 2014 WYD. Until then, for an example of a theme song done right, listen to the 1998 World Cup Theme Song, La Copa De La Vida by Ricky Martin.
There's absolutely no reason that The Church can't find something upbeat and fun like that for WYD. Martin's song is 13 years old, but still stands as inspiration as to what kind of theme song can get millions of people excited for an event.