Fr. Eddie Hontiveros, SJ wrote his first liturgical hymn in the 1960’s, motivated by his desire for the Filipino faithful to fully participate in the liturgy through songs that they can actually sing and understand. Fr. Honti, as he was fondly called, had no idea that he was starting a whole new tradition of liturgical music in the country. Almost half a century later, Fr. Honti continues to inspire Jesuit musicians like Fr. Fruto Ramirez, SJ, Fr. Nemy Que, SJ, Fr. Manoling Francisco, SJ, Fr. Arnel Aquino, SJ, ; and lay music partners. Their compositions are being sung in churches all over the Philippines and in many parts of the world, especially in places where Filipinos gather in prayer and worship.
Bayan Umawit may be likened to a chronicle of the tradition of Philippine Liturgical music. The current version evolved from the Paghahandog Praise Book, published in 1991 as a simple collection of the early works of our Jesuit musicians compiled by Fr. Bogs Tapiador, SJ and Fr. Joe Quilongquilong, SJ. Twelve years later, Fr. Peter Pojol, SJ shepherded the publication of an updated edition, which included songs released by the Jesuit Music Ministry between 1991 and 2003. Designed as an aid for instrumentalists and choirs, it contained information on the musical album where the recorded version of the song can be found. This updated version became known as Bayan Umawit.
We are pleased to come out with this latest edition of Bayan Umawit, which contains our well-loved liturgical and inspirational songs found in the earlier editions together with a number of new liturgical, inspirational, and charismatic compositions – from our beloved Jesuit songwriters as well as lay musicians from Bukas Palad, Hangad, and Himig Heswita. An added feature is the new English Translation of the Roman Missal that will assist and encourage the community of faithful to participate actively during Eucharistic celebrations. This edition also includes songs from the Luneta Mass of Pope Francis’s visit to the Philippines in 2015. (Lifted from the FOREWORD by the Jesuit Music Ministry Director Roseller L. Atilano, Jr., SJ)
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