(CD available from AD Books, $20 plus postage)
Newly released by Marilen Studios is a CD on the life of Jesus called Follow Me. This CD is a collection of original songs and stories by Zak Zreikat based around key events in the life of Jesus as told by the Gospels. These key events include the baptism in the Jordon River, 40 days in the desert, gathering the apostles, performing of miracles, entering Jerusalem, the crucifixion and resurrection.
There are a number of things that I found extremely appealing with this CD. Firstly, the CD heavily features children singing and telling stories. As this CD is intended for children, they will find listening to the voices of other children very enjoyable and much more meaningful. Secondly, the songs are very catchy; and thirdly, Zak has tastefully introduced humour into some of the songs and stories such as "My Name is John", which is about John the Baptist, "So Many Rules", a song about the Pharisees, and "Miracles".
Another point to be made is Zak's use of the Gospel. On a number of tracks, the narration or lyrics have been drawn directly from the Gospels. In particular, "Forty Days and Forty Nights" from the Gospel of St Matthew (Ch 4), "They Called Him King" from St Matthew (Chs 4, 5 and 19), "Hosanna" from the Gospels of Mark (Ch 11) and Matthew (Ch 21). Most of the other songs also have a solid grounding in the Scriptures, which should make this CD an ideal resource for schools and catechists. The songs could also be used as a resource for children's liturgies, especially through Lent and Easter, but also throughout the year.
I also understand that Zak is performing the songs from this CD in a number of concerts. I will certainly be among the crowd.
Joe Padero is a Masters Graduate in Christian Eastern Spirituality.