Ever since my ordination exams, I’ve become a major proponent of catechizing through music. Bruce Benedict, through his days at Reformed Theological Seminary Orlando, first opened my eyes to how easy it became to memorize large portions of the Westminster Shorter Catechism when they were set to music.
Well, I am a newcomer to this resource for children (thanks to my musician-producer-singer-songwriter friend, Greg Upton, for the recommendation) that I plan on using regularly for my own kids and promoting its use at my church. “Ask Me WhoOo, Vol. 1” by Diana Beach Batarseh, sets the first 52 questions and answers of the Children’s First Catechism to music. (There are 150 total questions and answers.)
The Children’s First Catechism is a condensation of the Westminster Shorter Catechism, which, ironically, was a catechism originally used for children but now primarily by adults (including ordinands in certain Reformed denominations like the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, the Presbyterian Church in America, and the Orthodox Presbyterian Church).
What is remarkable about “Ask Me WhoOo” is its ease and singability combined with its musicality. The recordings are clear and simple, and yet they are musically rich enough that all the songs don’t sound the same (this can be a problem when creating short little ditties for memorization). What I love, too, is that the end of each Q & A track includes a recording of a child reciting a passage of Scripture which pertains to that catechism question.
My favorite song so far is “Q & A 14-15.” The music, combined with its more difficult text, cracks me up (in a great way!):
Q: Where do you learn to love and obey God?
A: In the Bible alone.
Q: Who wrote the Bible?
A: Chosen men who were inspired by the Holy Spirit.
It just makes me laugh to hear such “high doctrinal” statements sung by children in a playful manner.