Viral video brings together the Catholic music community as never before.
In early May, during the peak of the coronavirus world pandemic, Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation produced this ambitious recording of the classic church hymn “Be Not Afraid” by Bob Dufford, SJ. The video brought together 58 of the most well known Catholic musicians to perform the 20th-century hymn, which showcased their variety of voices and instrumentals.
The arrangement of the voices allowed the hymn to grow steadily the whole way through. The piece opens up with solo singers, but quickly moves to duets in the second verse. Then the organization moves towards groupings of three or four until they show off a powerful full choir toward the end.
We get to see a lot of unusual pairings of voices as the piece progresses, but each one offers a unique sound. We were especially impressed with Fr. Cyprian Consiglio and Lorraine Hess, who added some wonderful harmonies to complement their singing partners. Married couples Kathleen and Jesse Leblanc and Greg and Mary Walton are also worth noting for their harmonic flair.
The work, which has been viewed nearly 1.2 million times on YouTube, brought together many well known Catholic artists, several of whom we have covered on Aleteia, including: Dan Schutte, John Michael Talbot, Fr. Rob Galea, Sarah Hart, Sarah Kroger, Tony Melendez, Marie Miller, Luke Spehar, PJ Anderson, Tori Harris, Taylor Tripodi and a whole lot more.
Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation is an evangelical organization that was created after the 2002 World Youth Day, in Canada. The Canadian-based foundation is so named because of its devotion to being – and helping others become – the salt of the earth and the light of the world. On their website, they describe their mission:
“To proclaim Jesus Christ and the joy of the Gospel in Canada and globally by telling stories of hope that bring people closer to Christ and the Catholic faith.”
Following these mission parameters, the recording of “Be Not Afraid” includes a brief time at the end where many of the singers offer a quick word of hope in Catholic terms.