A musician from Ashbourne parish has been selected to write the principal hymn for the World Meeting of Families which Pope Francis is expected to attend next year in Dublin.

Entitled “A joy for all the world”, the hymn was composed by Ephrem Feeley, one of Ireland’s most established composers of liturgical music, with over 200 pieces of music for use in Catholic worship. His wife, Giovanna Feeley, is also a composer of liturgical music. “We aim to write music that is Scripture-inspired” the couple explained “music that has dignity and beauty, accessible to choirs and assemblies, and worthy of use in liturgy”.

Ephrem and Giovanna Feeley conduct the choir in their local parish in Ashbourne while Ephrem is a music teacher at Mercy Secondary School in Navan.

The new hymn will be the theme tune for the international gathering of families, scheduled to take place on 21-26 August 2018.  Pope Francis personally requested that the festival take place in Dublin.

Click here to listen to “A joy for all the world”.

On Thursday 1 June 2017, the head of the Pontifical Council for Family, Laity and Life, Cardinal Kevin Farrell, addressed a preparatory conference ahead of the World Meeting of Families.  The Cardinal spoke about the importance Pope Francis places on family life in the Church, urging parishes to support families and to find creative ways of helping young couples in particular to prepare for marriage and to grow in faith.

At least three thousand volunteers will be needed to assist with the planning and organising of the World Meeting of Families. Father Timothy Bartlett, who launched the Meath diocesan preparations for the World Meeting in Mullingar Cathedral last February, explained: “We are inviting women and men with a variety of gifts, skills and talents to help us. Volunteers will be needed in a variety of roles such as acting as event ambassadors, stewards, ushers, meeting and greeting guests, offering hospitality, supporting media communications and providing information, music, liturgy, medical services, pastoral support, language translation, administration, transport, photographic services, and in logistics.”  Click here for further information on how to become a volunteer.