14 March 2008. Musica Chiesa produces Dakilang Pag-ibig, a tribute songbook to Fr. Eduardo Hontiveros SJ. This is the foreword which I wrote:
Since the beginning of time, great musicians have used their brilliance to move and inspire humanity. Responding to the call of Vatican II to bring the liturgy closer to the people, Fr. Eduardo P. Hontiveros SJ have used music to bring people to prayer and worship. When Fr. Honti passed away on the 15th of January 2008, he left an enormous collection of liturgical songs, many of which have been sung in churches here and abroad. Who can forget Pananagutan, Dakilang Pag-ibig, Paghahandog ng Sarili (Kunin Mo O Diyos) and Papuri sa Diyos?
This songbook contains uplifting hymns to God that encapsulate the faith of Filipinos. The simplicity of language and melody marks superb liturgical music: the more the congregation are able to like the melodies and sing them with fervor, the better.
We have added new choral and musical arrangements for SATB, string quartet and other instruments to give these songs a new twist. Concert excerpts from Fr. Honti’s Panunuluyan for the Christmas season or the Talinghaga for parables set in music may inspire you to use the complete collection of songs for the stage.
But to me, a great songbook is judged by the frequency of its use. The footnotes will then be of importance: it will tell you the liturgical season and parts when the song can be sung.
If, however, one of these songs made one whole congregation sing with passionate pleasure to the Lord, then, this songbook will truly have succeeded — and will make Fr. Honti happy.
Ad majorem Dei gloriam.