Kathy Schiffer got the scoop:
On Sunday, November 30,worshippers at a Mass at Philadelphia’s Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul heard for the first time the hymn that will be played at Pope Francis’ Mass during next year’s World Meeting of Families.
“Sound the Bell of Holy Freedom” was co-written by Norbertine Father Andrew Ciferni and Normand Gouin and was selected from 20 entries which were submitted by invitation only. The hymn opens with an allusion to Philadelphia’s Liberty Bell, and traces the life of Jesus’ family.
Read on for more on the composers. And you can hear the hymn for yourself below.
Not everyone is impressed. Michael Sean Winters sneers:
In the US, if your ideology tilts right, you want to paste the word “freedom” on everything because, well, you know, Obama is the enemy of freedom, we are all on the road to serfdom, etc., etc. So, my question to the author of this hymn is, to paraphrase Tina Turner, what’s freedom got to do with it?
Sound the bell of holy freedom; call all nations of the earth.
Sons and daughters of one Father, sent to spread God’s saving Word.
Come, and gather, as one fam’ly at the table of the Lord.
David branch from root of Jesse, Mary that vine’s flow’ring rose.
She brought forth for us the Savior as the angel did propose;
Overshadowed by the Spirit, by her “yes” new life arose.
Blessed Joseph, spouse of Mary, teacher of your God and Lord,
You did shelter and provide for wondrous child by kings adored.
Open to God’s Word in dreaming saved your child from Herod’s sword.
Jesus, youth in low’ly Naz’reth, faithful son, and loving child,
Guest and host at Cana’s wedding, finest wine you did provide.
You, our rock and you our shelter, keep us ever by your side.
At the cross a grieving mother, on the cross, her only son,
With all mothers and their children, Blessed Mary, you are one.
In our joys, and in our sorrows may we do as you have done.
Sound the bell of holy freedom; call all fam’lies of the world
To be fed by love incarnate; to proclaim God’s holy Word;
Through the love of Christ our brother, in the Spirit make us one.
Text: Andrew D. Ciferni, O., Praem, b. 1942
Tune: PHILADELPHIA, 8 7 8 7 8 7:Normand Gouin, b. 1970