Al-Raja: When it's the music that tells the Gospel | Custodia Terrae Sanctae

Al-Raja: When it's the music that tells the Gospel

Jerusalem, 21 April, 2012

A musical group made up of religious and lay people, a jubilation of instruments and voices (well six – three male and three female), electrical and acoustic guitars, keyboard, drums, and if the occasion lends itself to passing "musical guests", the sound of a trumpet, like the one that accompanied the Feast of Saint Barbara and the Christmas concert in Bethlehem.

With a lineup that sometimes includes over thirteen members, the Al-Raja group presented its first CD last Saturday at 6:00 p.m. at Notre Dame, during a free concert for the fans who have been following them for years, along with anyone else who happened to pass by.

Formed in 1999 in Jerusalem by local young Christian musicians, the group takes part in numerous activities every year, many of which are charitable in nature (concerts at orphanages and old-age homes) besides animating the Mass every Sunday morning at Saint Saviour's and during the more important Christian holidays, with concerts at Christmas and for Palm Sunday at St. Ann's, animating processions and torchlight walks with the local faithful.

Many of the initiatives and special moments from the history of Al-Raja (hope) were presented at the concert intermission, with the projection of photos and films from the time of its foundation until now.

"We are happy and proud," says Brother Badia, a member of the group. "It is demanding work, also financially, and we are truly pleased with what we have accomplished."

The title of this first album, "3allemni rabbi" (Teach Me, Lord) is also the title of one of the eight tracks that call on the Lord to guide us and teach us all along the way. A kind of "conversion" and progression toward God, (re)discovered at a particular moment in life. Among the songs, almost all composed by members of the band, several take up and re-propose passages from the Gospels, like the Resurrection of the Lord, and prayers, like the Our Father.

Their main purpose, lovingly married to the music, is to spread the message of the Gospel, Christian values, and love for Christ, but also to remind the Christian faithful of all communities here in the Holy Land that no one, in spite of the obstacles, is alone.

Ours, then, can be no other than a wish that this CD will be only the first of a long series!