Sing a New Song: Composing Music for the 21st Century Roman Liturgy

Document Type


Publication Date



Arts and Humanities | Composition | Music


Brian Campbell, Music


What is the role of the 21st Century art composer in the Roman Liturgy? What should a composer write for liturgy? Who should the composer for liturgy be? The questions around contemporary composers for Catholic worship raise numerous concerns about the nature and purpose of music. The official magisterial documents as well as initiatives of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops stress the need for congregation participation, but also urge composers of our day to expand upon the Church's great treasury of sacred music. Addressing the questions of today's liturgical music as well as attempting to combine the practical and creative elements of melody and harmony, I have composed a set of liturgical works designed to meet the pastoral criteria for congregations while pushing the creative boundaries of musical composition.