World Youth Day Lisbon 2023 will have the participation of a deaf choir, which will interpret, in Portuguese Sign Language (LGP), the liturgical songs in the main events.
In order to promote, simultaneously, the integration of listeners and non-listeners in a choir, the project “Mãos que Cantam” has joined the WYD Lisbon 2023 Choir.
On the weekend of 28th and 29th January, another rehearsal for the WYD Choir Lisbon 2023 took place at the Rectory of the University of Lisbon, which brought together about 200 choir members from all dioceses in the country, as well as the seven elements that make up the “Mãos que Cantam“.
Composed of deaf people, this project, which began in 2010, was born from the challenge of creating a choir with deaf students who could interpret music not with their voice, but using Portuguese Sign Language. The Choir “Mãos que Cantam” is currently composed of seven elements, including an interpreter, Sofia Figueiredo, and the conductor, Sérgio Peixoto, but during the week of WYD Lisbon 2023 the choir may grow up to 15 elements.
For the conductor Sérgio Peixoto, who immediately embraced this idea, this project has shown that “there are no barriers”. For the maestro this is “a new way of communicating” and of “letting pass the emotions of the gesture allied to the music”.
António Cabral, one of the elements of the “Singing Hands” project, reveals that he feels “a great satisfaction” with this challenge of being “in front of so many young people” so that “the whole world may know and see deaf people” as “models, of equality in communication” so that, “through sign languages, through writing, through reading”, we may all be “in communion”.
This is undoubtedly another important step in a World Youth Day that wants to be increasingly inclusive and accessible to all!
Photo: Kady Kounta / WYD Lisbon 2023