Centre for Liturgy produces special hymns for Remembrance Day

29 Oct 2020

By The Record

Cantor Eimear Foley singing the hymns for the Centre for Liturgy, accompanied by Alessio Loiacono. Photo: Supplied.

The Archdiocesan Centre for Liturgy (CFL) has produced and published two special hymns written and composed for Remembrance Day, 11 November.

CFL Music Field Officer Alessio Loiacono and CFL Music Consultant Chris deSilva are the writers and composers of these hymns.

Titled Serving Our Country and Beyond, the first hymn was written and composed for the Feast of Assumption of Mary on 15 August, which was also the 75th anniversary of the World War II.

“Their hymn text uses four titles of Mary in the refrain: Our Lady, Star of the Sea; Our Lady, Queen of Peace; Our Lady, Help of Christians and Our Lady of the Assumption. These four titles of Mary are used to invoke her protection on our armed forces – ‘whether, by land, air or the sea’,” the duo told The eRecord.

Mr Loiacono has also composed original music for the setting of the prayer called The Memorare by Saint Bernard of Clairvaux (1090 to 1153), whose memorial falls within the octave of the Feast of the Assumption on 20 August.

“This prayer is also suitable to commemorate the sacrifice made by members of the armed forces during wartime as it prays that our petitions do not go unanswered and that we will fly to Mary’s protection,” Mr Loiacono added.

“It has been composed as a solo piece for use in the liturgy.”

CFL has recorded music videos of the two hymns that are available on its YouTube channel and at St Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church, Cottesloe Parish, and at the Basilica of St Patrick, Fremantle Parish.

Cantor Eimear Foley was the solo soprano for both hymns, accompanied by Alessio Loiacono.

“Eimear has brought the texts of these pieces to life and given them meaning and captured the excellent acoustics in both buildings with her beautiful renditions of the pieces. The use of both the keyboard and the organ will make this music accessible to a wide range of musicians,” Mr Loiacono shared.

“We gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Cottesloe Parish Priest Father Marcelo Parra and Assistant Parish Priest Father Rodrigo da Costa Ponte, as well as Dominic Perisinotto, the Director of Music at the Basilica of St Patrick, Fremantle.”

Alessio Loiacono, Music Field Officer of the Perth Archdiocese’s Centre for Liturgy agency. Photo: Supplied.

CFL has continued to make liturgical resources available for the various weekday memorials, feasts and solemnities since the beginning of coronavirus-led restrictions period.

The resources produced monthly for obligated feast days and include notes on the lives of the saints commemorated, reflections on their lives and its application to our contemporary context, readings, prayers of the day, and a hymn text suited to the occasion.

Written and composed specifically for each feast days, the resources mean to tell the stories of the saints and help Perth Catholics to apply those stories into their lives.

CFL Director Sister Kerry Willison RSM believes this work on feast days is an effective way of keeping in touch with those who are sheltering at home during the pandemic.