Catholics in Thailand and Japan have both released theme songs ahead of Pope Francis’ visit to their respective countries later this month.
In Thailand, Catholic singers have come together to make an official music video for the first leg of the pope’s trip from Nov. 20-23.
The video “Let Love Be the Bridge,” saw artists such as Christina Agilar, Tom Room 39, BNK48 and others collaborate to mark the first visit to Thailand by a pope since St. John Paul II visited the country in 1984.
The video was released recently on Facebook and YouTube.
It’s rare public representation of Thai Catholics who make up less than 1 percent of the population, or about 300,000 people.
The song, written by Chawalwit Yingyotsenee, is performed in a traditional style called luk thung to give it a more traditional feel.
In the video, the artists pray and sing in Bangkok’s Assumption Cathedral, shows footage of the Catholic mission in Thailand and Pope Francis.
Also, among the singers is Thai priest Father Joseph Prathan Tancharoen.
During his visit, the pope will meet King Vajiralongkorn, the Buddhist Patriarch, and hold a public Mass at the National Stadium and another for youths at Assumption Cathedral.
Watch and listen to the Thai music video below.
Meanwhile, in Japan, Catholic bishops have also released a theme song for the pope’s Nov. 23-26 visit.
The song “Protect All Life” gets its title from “A Christian prayer in union with creation,” the second part of the final prayer at the end of Pope Francis’ Encyclical on the environment “Laudato Si’.”
It was written by Jun Inoue, a popular Japanese, singer, actor and comedian and performed by the Dreamers Union Choir.
According to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan the inspiration for the song is the gift of life, created in the image of God. Creation, they said, is meant “to be lived in” so to protect life people must also protect the environment.
“This theme of the pope’s visit to Japan,” the bishops said, “expresses our determination to proclaim the Gospel of life brought by Christ, and to pray and work for the peace of Christ.”
Watch and listen to the Japanese music video below.