Liturgy & Music

Liturgy of the Church

"I will praise the Lord all my days, make music to my God while I live."

The word liturgy comes from the Greek "leitourgia" a term used by the early church to mean "public work". The liturgy of the church involves everyone in our church family and includes all public acts of worship in church, the celebration of the Mass and the sacraments and the daily prayer. Our Liturgy and Music Adviser is here to support our parishes and people in the successful preparation and celebration of the liturgy, offering specialist help, training, and advice on the musical elements of the liturgy - including music repertoire, how to co-ordinate and plan a liturgy, the reorganisation and embellishment of places of worship and the design of new churches and chapels.

Guidelines for Liturgies & Orders of Service

To access resources on the Liturgical Calendar in our diocese, the Mass, the Divine Office: Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, Night Prayer and the other daily offices of the Prayer of the Church or the Liturgy of the Word with Children, and liturgy preparation guidance, visit the Resources page of the England & Wales Liturgy Office. To download the diocesan Ordo (liturgical calendar) for 2024 or Guidelines for the production of one-off service sheets, click on the buttons below.

More downloads will follow shortly.

Copyright and Artistic Work

In UK copyright law, most work is protected for the life of the author, artist or composer plus an additional 70 years. Copyright law applies to everyone including churches, schools, and religious communities. There are three possible areas of copyright: text, music, and images. If all three are being reproduced there may need to be three distinct copyright permissions.

Copyright - Images

Photographs, artworks and illustrations will generally be protected by copyright as “artistic works”. Unless copyright free, parishes, schools and religious communities will need permission to use an image online in websites and social media, or offline in printed materials. That an image is used on a website elsewhere does not mean it is necessarily free of copyright. The person who created the image (the creator) will usually be the first owner of the copyright, though copyright could be owned by an organisation, or
another individual. Permission will need to be obtained from all copyright owners, which can be complex and time consuming. If copyright isn’t in place a fine may be incurred via the copyright holder or a third-party organisation or agent acting on their behalf.

To avoid accidental misuse of copyright (which can be costly), the Diocese recommends parishes use four copyright-free digital sources for photographs: The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England & Wales Flickr site, the diocesan Flickr feed, Pexels and Unsplash (ensure you select ‘free’ images when searching Unsplash). If you have questions about image use, please contact our Communications team.

Music - One License & CCLI

Church and Religious communities need permission to print, livestream or project the words of hymns. Reporting which materials you have reproduced is an essential part of the licensing process ensuring that composers, authors, and publishers are compensated fairly for their work. Two licensing organisations enable parishes to reprint, stream, or project the words of hymns, One License and CCLI, both require payment of an annual fee and have online reporting capability. The repertoire they cover is different but overlaps, with their Reprint Licences - intended for congregational use only - allowing the reproduction of words and melodies from a range of publishers.

One License is based in the USA but covers the UK. One License holders have access to thousands of congregational hymns, songs, and service music from leading liturgical music publishers to use in worship aids, service bulletins, and projections. One License does not cover music for choirs, ensembles, cantors, accompanists, or instrumentalists but does offer Podcast and Streaming licences which can be purchased alone or as a bundle with a Reprint Licence. Publishers covered by One License include: OCP, GIA, Liturgical Press, World Library, Taizé and composers including Christopher Walker, Bernadette Farrell, Paul Inwood, Collegeville Composers Group (Psallite), Bob Hurd, Marty Haugen and Dan Schutte, with license holders also able to download graphics for use in orders of service. CCLI offers a range of licences; it is important to check whether you are reproducing copyrighted words and/or music only covered by CCLI as some materials will be covered by One License as well.

Most Catholic parishes will only need the Church Copyright Licence, plus a Streaming Licence if live-streaming. Very few - if any - Catholic parishes will need CCLI’s Church Video Licence to stream liturgies as this license principally covers the playing of commercial films during services in church.