Using YouTube Videos to Lead Song

One of the techniques that I’ve used with young people to lead them in song, either in a catechetical setting or at a liturgy, is to project a YouTube video with the music and lyrics provided. This works especially well because young people are very visual and are more comfortable with this than with a hymnal or song sheet. Likewise, it is very effective when you don’t have a music minister present to lead song and you yourself are not comfortable (or capable!) of doing so.

I like to look for hymns that are singable and that the young people will likely hear at Catholic Masses. I also look for videos in which the singing is very congregational (not a solo performance) and in which the visuals are not distracting. The best are those that are basically “slide shows” with images of nature or sacred images in the background of the lyrics.

Finally, just set up your laptop and LCD projector and a screen in an unobtrusive but visible location in the Church or space you are gathering. If possible, connect into the Church sound system or place a microphone next to your speaker so that the music is amplified sufficiently.

Here are some examples of videos I have used to lead song at liturgies and other gatherings. If you have any favorites, please share the links!

This one works particularly well as the young people gather in the worship/prayer space…

About Joe Paprocki 2746 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

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