Official hymn for World Youth Day 2008 chosen

Sydney, May 16, 2007

The official hymn for World Youth Day in 2008 has just been chosen. “Receive the Power” is the title of the official hymn for the celebration of the 23rd World Youth Day in Sydney. The song was written by young Australian composer Guy Sebastian. “We were looking for a hymn which would be involving and inspiring”, WYD 2008 co-ordinator Bishop Anthony Fisher OP explained.

“Above all it had to be a song which would fill the young participants with enthusiasm and capture the essence of the World Youth Day theme chosen by the Pope: You will receive the power of the Holy Spirit which will descend upon you and you will be my witnesses. Guy's song meets with all these requisites: it inspires the youth of the world to accept Jesus' call to follow him to the ends of the earth as his witnesses.”

Receive the Power was chosen after a selection process involving over 120 pieces. The Pontifical Council for the Laity, which is involved in preparations for WYD on the part of the Holy See, is in agreement with the choice of the hymn. “It combines the necessary musical and thematic elements as well as being easy to sing for people of different languages. We are convinced that Receive the Power WYD hymn will be played and sung by young Catholics everywhere on the occasion of World Youth Day and from then on”, the Bishop said.

Australian composer singer Guy Sebastian made a name for himself in 2003, when he started composing music for his parish at the age of thirteen. In 2005, Guy was nominated World Vision Ambassador and went to Uganda to film a documentary on the difficulties people face there due to poverty and civil war. He has also written numerous songs for Australian singers.