Non Catholic songs - Sung and used by Catholics


Is it ok to sing/ use songs composed by born again Christians - ex: Hillsong, Cris Tomlin , Israel Houghton etc…


As long as it’s not Ye Ode To Sola Scriptura or Behold Thine Unworthy Papists, I think it’d be fine.*

Not real song titles…I hope.


Not Liturgically.


Songs should be evaluated based on their content more so than who wrote them. If the content is not anti-Catholic and is consistent with Catholic belief, then there’d be no reason to exclude it just because the composer is not Catholic.

Even the Liturgy of the Hours book includes some hymns in the back that were written by Protestants (e.g. “A Mighty Fortress is Our God” written by Martin Luther himself).

In general, the Catholic philosophy is more, “Test all things and hold fast to that which is good,” rather than, “Let’s throw the baby out with the bath water.” :wink:


Not knowing any better. We used to sing “A Mighty Fortress” (aka Luther’s Anthem) with gusto at weekend Mass.


There is a list of pieces of music banned from Mass by Saint Pius X and you’d be surprised of some of the pieces and actual Mass settings contained within it. If some of the most beautiful Mass settings written are on this list, surely we must consider a second look at whether modern protestant hymns belong in the Mass.


The OP didn’t specify whether the question was about singing the songs in general or singing the songs at Mass. I was answering more in general.

However, I don’t believe Pius X’s “ban list” still holds the authority of law. Even if it did, it would necessarily tell us anything about modern protestant hymns.

Mind you, I’m not the type of person that is clamoring for modern CCM music at Mass. It’s not my cup of tea. But as long as the lyrics aren’t heretical and so long as the bishop and/or pastor are okay with it, I’m not going to tell someone they can’t do it.

If the OP is asking about using these songs at Mass (either because he wants to sing them there or because they are already being sung there and he is uncomfortable with it), he should probably bring it up with his pastor.


You mentioned the Liturgy of the Hours. Some pastors I would think would be happy enough that someone is suggesting something to just say “Ok!” Also, unless abrogated later I assume Pius X’s directive to still be authoritative, even if rarely followed. Even we have used some sound protestant hymns I believe, though if in the EF never at Mass. If we’re doing something not suited to the Mass (ie. anything not in Latin), we make sure to do it before Mass actually begins or after the dismissal. Other parishes I have heard “How Great Thou Art” though generally after the dismissal it seems. Of course many others will do a protestant hymn at Mass without second thought. Some are alright I guess.


A Mighty Fortress is Our God. Hmm. Yes by Martin Luther. Martin Luther’s marching song against the Pope. The words might not seem horrible at first but knowing the history behind the song, I don’t think it is an appropriate liturgical song for Catholics to be singing.


Good question. My music team has been singing Protestant written songs for awhile.

Thank you by Hillsong
A bunch of Twila Paris songs

Being the most notable and most commonly used.

The lyrics themselves don’t seem at all problematic and, in fact, one of the Twila Paris songs speaks of the Eucharist (like, Catholic understanding of Eucharist). I always presumed they were fine to be sung at Mass because of the lyrics (and I always trusted that the music director would not bring us such music if it wasn’t okay).


Many protestant songs are just that - protestant.

As a Catholic revert who studied the history of protestant hymns during my protestant years, I learned that most, if not a good majority, are written with “protestant” - protesting the Catholic church - mindset.

Knowing this makes it extremely hard for me to sing along with a protestant song.


This used to be one of my favorites in my former Baptist days. :rofl:

To the OP (or anyone else) - I personally don’t see an issue with any song that doesn’t directly contradict Catholic teaching, whether within a liturgy or not. If the bishop/pastor haven’t raised an issue (and they should be in some manner or another approving the general selections for liturgies), it’s good to go.


Twila Paris is a Catholic. :smiley::+1:


Big fan of ALL the artists you mentioned, there! I think there’s a time and a place for them so long as they are not heretical.

I’m a converted protestant myself, pulled right out of pastor training for a Pentecostal church. I still get together with charismatic Catholics and engage in some good praise and worship time. <3


When asked if Amazing Grace was consistent with Catholic theology, Fr. John Hardon, SJ† replied simply, “No.”

Fr. Hardon is considered to be one of the best dogmatic theologians of the 20th century.


I would need to see some serious documentation before I would believe that.



From what I googled, her Dad and Mom founded a non-denominational college. This college produces her music. I found several instances where Catholics really enjoy her music. In particular “How Beautiful”. However, I could find no references that she has left her families ministries at Ecclesia College.


Same here. From what I understood she was non-denominational Protestant.


My stinky bad. Apparently I am just repeating a rumor I heard in high school, that’s been repeated by people I know in the present, but I never looked into it.

She may be Catholic, but there’s nothing I can find on the net to confirm this, and there seem to be indications that she’s protestant.

Thanks for the challenge to my decades-long error (most likely).


Honestly some of her music is so Catholic in sentiment that it would be an easy mistake to make!

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