|English: Pontifical Anthem and March|
Pontifical anthem of
the Holy See and Vatican City State
|Music||Charles Gounod, 1869|
The Pontifical Anthem or Papal Anthem is the official anthem of the Pope, and serves as the national anthem of the Holy See and the Vatican City State. It is played at solemn occasions of the State and ceremonies in which the Pope or one of his representatives, such as a nuncio, is present. When the Vatican's flag is ceremonially raised, only the first eight bars are played.
The music was composed in 1869 by Charles Gounod, for the celebration on April 11, 1869 of Pope Pius IX's golden jubilee of priestly ordination. The purely instrumental piece in three parts, originally called Marche pontificale (French for "Pontifical March"), became extremely popular from its first performance.
On October 16, 1949, Pope Pius XII decided that it would become the papal anthem, replacing Viktorin Hallmayer's Marcia trionfale (1857), which, being still the papal anthem when the Vatican City State was founded in 1929, had been treated also as the new state's anthem. Gounod's Marche Pontificale was first performed in this new role during a ceremony on Christmas Eve of 1949, one day before the opening of the Holy Year 1950. The old anthem too was played for a last time, almost as a token of respect.
At that time, Antonio Allegra (1905–1969), who was then one of the organists of St. Peter's Basilica, wrote Italian lyrics for Gounod's music. Other lyrics have been composed for the music in various languages and by different authors. Some of these versions are not directly related to the papacy, e.g. Rudy Villanueva's Cebuano prayer, Yutang Tabonon ("Beloved Land"), for protection for the Philippines nation. In 1991, Raffaello Lavagna of Savona (born 1918) wrote Latin lyrics for a four-voice choir, on an arrangement by Alberico Vitalini.
While the Papal Anthem serves as the official anthem for the Vatican State, the Vatican stresses that it "is not to be understood as a national anthem"; it is a composition whose words and music "speak to the heart of many throughout the world who see in Rome the See of Peter."
Italian lyrics by Allegra (1949) 
Latin lyrics by Lavagna (1991) 
See also 
- "Vatican City (Holy See) - Marche Pontificale". NationalAnthems.me. Retrieved 2011-11-21.
- Pontifical Anthem and its History. From the official site of Vatican City State. Accessed on 2009-06-21.
- Pontifical Anthem and its History (in Italian). From the official site of the Holy See. Accessed on 2009-06-21.
- Score for choir of four voices by Alberico Vitalini with original Latin text by Monsignor Raffaello Lavagna. From the official site of the Holy See. Accessed on 2009-06-21.
- Inno Pontificio lyrics, with brief historical notes and MIDI file. From the official site of the Holy See. Accessed on 2009-06-21.
- Official site of Vatican City State
- Streaming audio, lyrics and information about the Pontifical Anthem