(Vatican Radio) On Sunday Pope Francis will preside at a special Jubilee Mass for young people, with thousands of teenagers from all over the world expected to attend the celebration in St Peter’s Square. The Mass marks the culmination of a three day event designed especially for youngsters from 13 to 16 years old with the theme “Merciful like the Father”
In a message, signed on the feast of the Epiphany this year, Pope Francis told young people that “to be merciful means to grow in a love which is courageous, generous and real”. Speaking to those travelling to Rome for the Jubilee, he said “Don’t just prepare your rucksacks and your banners, but your hearts and your minds as well”.
One group of young people who’ve been preparing for this event in a special way is the choir from Worth School in the south of England, who’ll be singing in St Peter’s Square during the papal Mass. While the youngsters at the Catholic school sing regularly for liturgies at the adjacent Benedictine abbey, they’re very aware of the significance of being the first British school choir to perform alongside the prestigious Sistine Chapel singers for this event.
Two of the choir members, Eli Barrott and Hannah Teasdale, came to talk to Philippa Hitchen about their experience, accompanied by their music director, Michael Oakley, and by an old boy from their school, Mark Spyropoulos, who is now the first Englishman to perform full time with the Sistine Chapel choir.