Site Vision

This site is a work in progress targeting Australian Catholic congregations with limited resources who wish to sing at least some traditional style (metric) hymns and/or (chanted) responsorial psalms.

For each major event in the Australian liturgical calendar, a page is being prepared with a music selection believed to be appropriate for that celebration. Each item will have links to sources, downloads, and YouTube videos to aid those involved with music. The site’s YouTube channel, youtube.com/@LiturgyShare, has grouped playlists that mimic selections on the liturgical pages.

Hymn content here is inspired by Australia’s officially approved hymnal, Catholic Worship Book II, but many other Catholic hymnals have been drawn upon.

If your parish is subscribed to OneLicense.net, you have legal access to a vast array of hymns no matter what hymnal you may be using, and this site will help you make the most of it.  Just remember to report what you use and check beforehand that OneLicense covers the hymn you want to use!

Downloads for each hymn depend on whether it is in the public domain (freely copyable) or is copyrighted (requiring a license to use if you don’t have it in a hymnal):

  • Traditional hymns have freely downloadable keyboard accompaniments, lead sheets, and melody-line images for use in hymn sheets or parish bulletins.  Many come with both traditional and modernised lyrics.
  • Contemporary (metric) hymns can almost always be sung to a traditional tunes to which this site provides accompaniments. This site can’t legally provide lyrics, so these must be either downloaded from OneLicense, when available, or reprinted from another source.

Responsorial psalms and gospel acclamations have been composed specifically for this project with chant-style verses and simple responses, all in a narrow note range following the Australian lectionary exactly.  There are freely downloadable keyboard accompaniments, lead sheets, cantor sheets, and assembly images.  Additionally there are references to other sources suited to Australian liturgy.

The site is ad-free and all LiturgyShare downloadable materials (blue links) are free without any licensing or reporting required.  External weblinks (red links) only go to YouTube and reputable Christian publishing sites.  External websites change, so it is likely that some links will go dead, and some external YouTube videos will be removed.

This is a one-person production so please be charitable about errors:  I will correct ASAP after notification!

Understanding Music Suggestions

Four options are given for each processional with the following principles generally (but not always!) observed:

  • the entrance hymn is a song of praise;
  • the procession of gifts hymn relates to the Liturgy of the Word, especially the Gospel;
  • the communion hymn is unifying;
  • and the recessional hymn provides a link between the liturgy and our behaviour as we go out to the world.

For many years music suggestion guides looked at fillings for a four-hymn sandwich, but this downplayed the importance of music in other parts of the Mass (ordinary and propers).  In fact, the first consideration should be the Eucharistic acclamations. Having said that, Mass settings are not available on this site, but only referred to, for copyright reasons:  only the ancient chant settings in the Roman Missal are in the public domain, and they are readily and freely available elsewhere on the Internet.

Officially allowed psalm translations include The Grail (as used in current lectionary and missals) and Abbey Psalms and Canticles (formerly known as the Revised Grail, before revision) which I understand will be used in the next edition of the lectionary.  References are only given to settings with simple chant style verses that follow these standards.  It is always possible to sing the refrain and say the verses (with any setting), and in in some cases psalm tones from this site are suggested for use with other composers refrains.

Entrance and communion antiphons in the missal are normally only said if there is (sadly) no singing at Mass.  However, the General Instructions give the option of singing them.  Although not shown in the missal, psalm verses (for a cantor or choir) are associated with each one, and the traditional practise is to sing the antiphon at the beginning, then an appropriate number of psalm verses, a doxology (Glory be …), then a repeat of the antiphon.  This is not going to be considered at most parishes as it takes away the realistic possibility of the congregation joining in.

There are, however, a number of options for congregational support of the antiphon and these are referenced in the music suggestion pages:

  • a choir or cantor could sing the antiphon on its own before or after the entrance hymn;
  • a condensed version of the antiphon could be sung by the congregation in the manner of a responsorial psalm, with a cantor singing verses;
  • a paraphrase of the antiphon and verses in the form of a metrical hymn sung to a common hymn tune allows the congregation complete access.

In my experience, most congregations are reluctant to sing during communion despite being asked to in the General Instructions, and sometimes leave singing to the end of the procession.  Singing an abbreviated communion antiphon (with cantor or choir singing psalm verses) should make it much easier for the procession to join in as the people don't need hymn sheets or to be distracted by a screen.

An additional complication is that antiphons in the Missal were intended to be said, not sung, and many would regard it as a better practise to sing the English translation (from Solesmes Abbey) of antiphons in the Graduale Romanum. While probably 90 % are much the same as those in the Missal, others allow for a closer connection to the day’s liturgy.  They are shown on each music suggestion page.

Adam Bartlett’s Simple English Propers settings are fairly straight-forward, but for those with limited time to learn and practise the antiphon, consider singing it to one of the popular psalm tones from St. Meinrad Archabbey. Download a guitar accompaniment here or a keyboard accompaniment here.  The mode should be the same as that used by Bartlett.

Please note that older pages on this site don’t share everything suggested here, but will be eventually be updated.

Contact

chris@liturgyshare.org

About Me

My name is Chris Wroblewski, and this developing site is the result of a long-time vision of mine.  I have been associated with liturgy since the mid 1980s, primarily in small country parishes, and am currently looking after music for a small congregation in Hobart (Tasmania).  Feel free to contact me with any queries at the email address above.

Liturgical Dates

18 May 2024:   Pentecost Sunday, at the Vigil Mass
19 May 2024:   Pentecost Sunday, at the Mass during the Day
26 May 2024:   The Most Holy Trinity, Year B
2 June 2024:   The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, Year B   New 

Developments

Some significant changes are being made to the layout of the site to make it more manageable, and more readable, particularly for mobile users.  There will almost certainly be some layout issues on older pages, but pages for recent and upcoming liturgies should work fine.