April 18, 2017

NPM reviews Fr. Ricky Manalo’s ‘In the Sight of Angels’

In the Sight of Angels artwork

Father Ricky Manalo’s collection of songs, In the Sight of Angels, received accolades recently from the March 2017 issue of Pastoral Music (published by the National Association of Pastoral Musicians).

“This collection of music deepens and celebrates many components of compositional and liturgical collaboration. Its diverse range of musical styles represents the combined forces of Father Ricky Manalo with Sarah Hart, Bob Hurd, Jesse Manibusan, Dan Schutte, Suzanne Toolan, RSM, and Jorge Monterroso, O.Carm. Rich cultural and pastoral diversity covers writing idiomatic of Christian rock, gospel, contemporary, and cathedral, and uses English, Filipino, Italian, Latin and Spanish for its broad textual reach.”

Representing the fulfillment of a life-long dream for Father Manalo, In the Sight of the Angels is a liturgical collection in which each song is a collaboration with another composer. The result is a collection of various cultural styles, gifts, languages and faith perspectives. Songs of inspiration, they invite each of us to dialogue with one another and to collaborate in our praise and glory to God.

The publication notes the pastoral applicability of music inspired by Laudato Si! Be Praised, O God!, Pope Francis 2015 encyclical, as well as St. Francis of Assisi’s “Canticle of the Creatures” and Father Manalo’s own social justice convictions.

The article also highlighted the setting of “Psalm 138, In the Sight of the Angels,” a collaboration with Steven A. Bell, CSP, for its “highly spirited and singable refrain. This piece also employed a slightly more harmonic language than that found in other stylistically similar compositions…Consider this piece for a broad range of liturgical uses to expand your choral repertoire and stylistic versatility.”

Father Manalo’s music can be found in Catholic and Protestant hymnals alike. His best-known works include “Worthy Is the Lamb,” “In These Days of Lenten Journey” and “Beyond the Days” as well as his recently released Mass of Spirit and Grace. His compositions have been used in papal Masses celebrated by Pope Saint John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Francis. He is recognized as a leading authority on intercultural liturgical issues and music. He has written numerous articles and books on pastoral ministry, music, liturgical inculturation, and intercultural communication.

“These songs are offered to inspire and remind us of the gifts that can emerge when artists and communities work together to bear fruit, rather than draw divisive lines,” Father Manalo said about the collection. “It is my hope that this collection will invite all worship communities into a collaborative journey of intercultural dialogue that will foster new ways to share our gifts, encounter Christ in one another, and musically express our praise and glory to God!”