Australian Idol Wrote World Youth Day Anthem

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SYDNEY, Australia, MAY 16, 2007 (Zenit.org).- The theme song for World Youth Day 2008 was written by singer/songwriter Guy Sebastian, the winner of the first Australian Idol contest in 2003.

"Receive the Power" was written by Sebastian, who will also perform the song at the World Youth Day in July 2008.

In choosing the song, the World Youth Day coordinator, Auxiliary Bishop Anthony Fisher, said that "we wanted a song that was stirring and uplifting."

He added: "The ... theme had to measure up thematically and be an anthem -- yet be easily sung by people of all language backgrounds.

"Above all, it had to engage young people and capture the theme of World Youth Day 2008 -- namely, that you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses."

Bishop Fisher remarked that when the World Youth Day organizers heard "Receive the Power," they knew that they had found their anthem: "To put it simply, 'Receive the Power' hit the mark."

The 47-year-old bishop added that Sebastian "knew we needed a song that would inspire the young people of the world to take up Christ's challenge to go to the ends of the earth and be his witnesses; for many people in the Northern Hemisphere, Australia is the ends of the earth!"

A demo recording was delivered to the Pontifical Council for the Laity, the Vatican dicastery overseeing the youth day preparations, which granted its approval and support during Bishop Fisher's visit to Rome in April.

Bishop Fisher affirmed, "We are confident 'Receive the Power' will rally young Catholics of all backgrounds to World Youth Day in 2008."

Since winning the Australian Idol title, Sebastian has since released three top-five albums and seven top-20 singles, including three that rose to the top of the charts.