Promote spirituality through music

Promote spirituality through music

• The university student Benjamín Paredes Aponte plays the monumental organ in the Basilica of Guadalupe

• As every year, on December 12, he will musically accompany the celebration for the anniversary of the Marian apparitions on the Tepeyac hill.

There, seated in front of five keyboards with 60 pieces and 32 pedals that activate the 10,222 flutes, one of its performers, Benjamín Paredes Aponte, a graduate Organ Musician-instrumentalist from the Faculty of Music (FaM) of the UNAM, comments: “First of all music is my passion”.

Regarding December 12, the date on which the 491st anniversary of the Marian apparitions on the Tepeyac hill is commemorated, the now professor of Organ and Keyboard Harmony at the propaedeutic level and graduate from the FaM, assures that the complexity of playing An instrument is enhanced by the environment in which it is performed.

“From the outset, the most difficult thing is the fact that the Basilica of Guadalupe is the second most visited Catholic sanctuary in the world; it is, without a doubt, a reference where the eyes of the world are on us, and then somehow our preparation and work must be the best possible”.

I perceive music as a means to communicate, something that I can transmit to others, I think that it matches well in the workplace here, in the Basilica, and in the teacher, in the FaM, where I teach and transmit the knowledge to the students acquired, comet.


Benjamín Paredes recalls that on November 16, 2012 (a decade ago) he joined the INBG as a singer and organist, and in October 2018 he carried out the reply as a performer of his professional exam.

On the importance of sound on December 12, he explains that it consists of accompanying these celebrations through music, “supporting the people, promoting spirituality, that perhaps where words end, in this case, music begins. The fact that people arrive and listen to the organ, and also to the children’s choir, in some way makes everyone participate, that the choir, the people and the celebrants become a single voice”.

For this reason, he considers that it is “the most important festival of Mexicans; being here is as if you were making an offering in your own home to someone very dear to you”.

The FaM professor explains that on the festivity of the Virgin of Guadalupe the musical intervention will begin at the solemn Vespers ceremony on Sunday, December 11 at 5:00 p.m.; later at midnight mass the following day.

Another of the challenges in playing the organ, he comments, is paying attention, “because much of what we accompany is sung by the priest and he does it in his own tone. So we, at the moment in which he vocalizes, we have to respond to him in the same way that he has ”.

We must be under the baton of the choir director and in the solo part interpreting organ works. On several occasions it is not like a concert that begins at a certain moment and ends at another, but we accompany the rite through music.

The organist comments that he is also in charge of some choirs of nuns, in addition to being responsible for the programming of what is sung in the sanctuary daily, which implies another challenge that includes -in addition to musical training- liturgical and theological preparation.


The university student, who completed his baccalaureate at the National Preparatory School 4 “Vidal Castañeda y Nájera”, is part of the INBG Music Chapel as organist and is also custodian of the Monumental Organ of the Expiatory Temple dedicated to Christ the King (Old Basilica of Guadeloupe).

“The organ is a majestic instrument, it is almost like a door to heaven, where not only the artistic and architectural part of the temple is combined, but also the majesty of the instrument. Then, as a whole, it imposes on the visitor, and in some way they are left in awe of the majesty, which in this case represents both the architectural part and the instrument”, underlines the university academic, who together with Hugo Jiménez Cisneros are the organists who play sound accompaniment daily.

In the Monumental Organ the festivities of the liturgical year are also played, such as Easter, Christmas, Advent and important festivals such as the arrival of a apostolic nuncio, as well as the consecration and ordination of a bishop or priests, Benjamin abounds Walls.

The visit of His Holiness Pope Francis, (in February 2016), is one of the events that have stayed the most in my mind here, in the Basilica, in addition to the Guadalupe feast every year.

“In the first I played in the homily, I was the accompanying organist for that mass, and every December 12 we start from the midnight ceremony, it is a very important event,” he says.

In the Faculty of Music of the UNAM I acquired the knowledge to be able to manipulate an instrument of this magnitude, but I never thought that I could play at a papal mass, nor on December 12. It is undoubtedly a dream, it is an indescribable emotion to hear the bell ring and sing Las Mañanitas and all the celebrations that take place throughout the year, concludes Paredes Aponte.

#Positively UNAM


Promote spirituality through music