“I will sing of your mercy forever, LORD, proclaim your faithfulness through all ages”(Ps 89,2).
Like the psalmist, and since the release of the first Himig Heswita album in 1981, the Jesuit members of Himig Heswita and their lay friends have been singing of the mercy of God which is synonymous to God’s steadfast love, fidelity, forgiveness and faithfulness.
I find it consoling that the 35th anniversary of Himig Heswita coincides with the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy of the Church. This special event can be observed as a celebration of mercy as memory, message and mission.
Mercy as memory. In the bible, to remember is “to make present the saving acts of God.”The 35th anniversary of Himig Heswita brings to memory not only the first Filipino Jesuit composers like Fr. Eduardo Hontiveros but also the first Filipino liturgical songs composed for Eucharistic celebrations, especially for ordinations, religious professions, fiesta celebrations, Papal visits and other Church events.
Mercy as message. Like the psalmist, we proclaim God’s faithfulness (mercy) and message of salvation through all ages, as it is revealed through the power of God’s Word who became incarnate in Jesus Christ. Over the years, the music of Himig Heswita has given expression to the paschal mystery of our faith by accompanying our liturgical celebrations proclaiming the mysteries in the life of Christ and the saints.
Mercy as mission. Mercy as mission is about loving action for the neighbor, particularly corporal and spiritual works of mercy, as Pope Francis exhorts. In producing music as ministry, especially in the tradition of classics such as Pananagutan and Alay Kapwa, and in giving voice and spirit to the Christian witness of millions of Filipino migrants everywhere, Himig Heswita highlights how mercy becomes mission through liturgical music.
This commemorative CD of Himig Heswita, released as part of the Golden Jubilee celebration of Loyola House of Studies (LHS) and Loyola School of Theology (LST), invites you to join us in singing of the mercy of God as memory, message and mission… at these joint 35th and 50th anniversaries and through all ages. Amen.
– Fr. Jose V.C. Quilongquilong, S.J., LHS Rector and LST President