Building Your Library of Sacred Hymns

From time to time, you may notice that I mention playing a recording of a Church hymn. Over the years, I have built my own little library of CDs (now, of course, we can do so on our iPods, etc.) of sacred hymns to use both for my own enjoyment/inspiration and for use in catechetical settings. Recently, I just added a couple of CDs of traditional Catholic hymns to balance out my collection which is heavily contemporary. Here are a few of the collections I have with links so that you can peruse further. (Note: catechists are not expected to spend the money it requires to build such a library. Many catechetical leaders have such resources available for catechists to use on occasion. At the same time, some catechists spend money on their own resources as part of their overall stewardship).





I have a number of CDs by individual artists; however I am focusing here on collections of hymns. Any recommendations to add?

About Joe Paprocki 2742 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at


  1. I have greatly enjoyed Hymns in the Key of Jazz – Live by Ron Gutierrez. Currently it may be difficult to actually purchase a CD and may be only available as a download.

    Thanks for continuing to share the Good News of being a catechist,

  2. During my lessons, I also play sacred music…mostly contemporary (since I really enjoy it and have a lot of it on my ipod). I like how in your lesson planning you try to play a hymn that goes along with the lesson. Eagles Wings sounds like a good one for lesson 3. It would be nice if us catechists had a way of accessing sacred music without having to pay to download it etc… Maybe the people who make our text books, Loyola Press, could give us catechists access to hymns (downloading them) for free???? That would be awesome!!!

    • Josie, I enjoy contemporary sacred music as well, however, I’m trying to bring in variety by highlighting some “classics.” It would be nice to be able to download hymns free however it’s next to impossible with copyright and royalty issues.

  3. True, it would be impossible with copyright and royalty issues…..guess I’ll just go with what I have…think I’ll download Eagles Wings onto my ipod for my Sunday lesson.

  4. One of my favorite musical websites is By becoming a member (FREE!) you have access to a huge library of songs which can be played from your computer or you have the option of downloading if you wish to play them through other means (i.e. iPod or CD). They also offer a free music download on a weekly (I think?) basis so you can build your Christian Contemporary Musical Library with no added cost!

  5. The site LeAnne mentioned is also the title of a favorite collection of mine – Spirit and Song. Thanks for the information; I signed up today! The St. Louis Jesuits also have a nice collection- Lift Up Your Hearts. I am showing my age, but I also use Catholic Latin Classics, normally during Advent and Christmas.

    • Anne, nothing wrong with sprinkling some Latin in there as well…it is part of our tradition and is the Church’s universal liturgical language.

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