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New liturgical music book to provide single resource for parishes


The New Catholic Worship Book was launched in Melbourne by Archbishop Denis Hart, Bishop Pat O’Regan and Bishop Peter Elliott on Friday, 8 April. Photo: Casamentos, Melbourne

The new liturgical worship book launched by the Bishops of Australia in April will provide a single resource that parishes can use as the basis for music programs that reflect the spirit of the post-Vatican II liturgy, according to Archdiocesan Centre for Liturgy Director, Sister Kerry Willison.

The new Catholic Worship Book II will be launched in Perth at the Catholic Education WA Chapel on Wednesday, 29 June.

The Catholic Worship Book II consists of a broad range of liturgical music, including the chants for the revised Order of Mass (2010), new and revised Mass settings and service music, plus music for the Sunday Eucharist, the various rites of the Church and Morning and Evening Prayer.

In an interview with The eRecord ahead of the Perth launch on June 29, Sr Kerry said the new CWB II will give parishes access to a wide range of music that is suitable for use at Mass, as well as music for celebrations of the other Sacraments.

“Congregations will probably not notice any changes in the short term, and it will take time for music ministries to adopt the music and introduce it to their communities,” Sr Kerry explained.

“However, in the long term, they might notice that the music has become more appropriate to their worship than in the past,” she said.

Sr Kerry continued saying that, while hymns are less important in Catholic liturgies than in the worship of other Christian communities, it is more important to sing the parts of the Mass (acclamations, Responsorial Psalm, etc) than to sing the three hymns that accompany the processions.

“The CWBII contains a wide range of music that will encourage this,” she said.

Prepared by the National Liturgical Music Board, an advisory board of the Bishops Commission for Liturgy, the worship book reflects the Catholic Church’s rich heritage of chant – in Latin and English - and traditional hymns and contemporary liturgical songs from local and international sources.

Music featured includes Praise to the holiest (by Cardinal Newman) and Christ be our light (by Bernadette Farrell) but also contemporary Australian music like Chris Willcock’s If I could tell the love of God and Michael Herry’s Lord, to whom shall we go?

The book is available in two versions: a full music edition with two volumes, hard case, in a slip case; and the people’s edition, also known as the pew edition, available in hardback for long life and durability in parishes.

Morning Star Publishing representative, Hugh McGinlay, said the original Catholic Worship Book was published in 1985 and, since that time, there have been dramatic changes in available liturgical resources, both at a local and international level.

“The new edition has been in the planning phase for almost ten years,” Mr McGinlay said.

“From the beginning, the National Liturgical Music Board wanted to provide resources for Australian Catholics from the richness of the Catholic tradition as well as a range of sound, contemporary compositions,” he said.

“A special feature of the planning has been to promote the work of Australian writers and composers and they are well represented among the texts and music.”

Archbishop Costelloe has extended an invitation to all Archdiocesan Priests, Religious, Agency Directors/Coordinators, School Principals and or a representative to attend the Perth launch of Catholic Worship Book II on Wednesday 29 June at the Catholic Education Office, Rusilip Street, Leederville.

For more information, contact 08 9207 3350 or email

For more information about the new worship book, including costs and availability, please contact Morning Star Publishing by email: