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The Beauty that Invites Prayer


Planning the Use of Music in Liturgy

Singing is an integral part of the liturgy and a joyful expression of those gathered (Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, 112; cf. Acts 2:46). The Gospels inform us that Jesus and the Apostles sang at the Last Supper, and the Apostle Paul exhorted the early Church communities to sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with thankful hearts when they gathered (cf. Mt 26:30; Mk 14:26; Col 3:16).

Today the Church asks: “Although it is not always necessary (e.g., in weekday Masses) to sing all the texts that are in principle meant to be sung, every care should be taken that singing by the ministers and the people not be absent in celebrations that occur on Sundays and on Holy Days of Obligation” (General Instruction of the Roman Missal, 40).

This section of the website aims to help worshipping communities in their mission of evangelisation through the support and promotion of this vision for the use of music in liturgy.

Our focus will be to provide information on the strategic, tactical and operational areas to be considered in music ministry within a worshipping community.  Examples include the following:

  • strategic areas: repertoire, hymnals and other worship aids, copyright; 
  • tactical areas: music ministry development (organisation, roles, development of musical skills and liturgical knowledge); 
  • operational: liturgical song suggestions for Sundays, seasons and feasts.

The priority for the redevelopment of the website has focused on providing a much improved shopping experience. The other areas (Learn and Plan) are also being redeveloped in coming months to update the information provided, taking advantage of insights into the revised General Instruction of the Roman Missal (2010), recent research on Musicam Sacram (Vatican II's Instruction on Music in the Liturgy), the launch of the new Catholic Worship Book II hymnal (2016), and the provision of resources to help easily prepare song lists for liturgy.

This section of the Liturgical Song will grow and develop over coming months.