Visit the Copyright page of the Liturgy Office website for an introduction to copyright.
N.B. The information on the Liturgy Office site and on this page refers only to copyright material used in liturgies, prayer and worship, not to copyright music or material used in other activities on a church site.

Guidelines for the Production of one-off Service sheets

Liturgical Texts (Roman Missal, Sacraments, Scripture, Psalms)

Hymns and Liturgical Music

Whatever material – text or music – is used in an order of service or sheet, or projected on a screen, it must be acknowledged.
In UK copyright law, most work is protected for the life of the author/composer plus 70 years.
The acknowledgement sections of hymnbooks are a useful source of copyright information. (If a hymn does not appear in that section, it is probably out of copyright and in the public domain; and some hymns may have gone out of copyright since the book was published.)
N.B. The inclusion of a hymn in a hymnbook does not mean that the copyright of the hymn is owned by the publisher of the hymnbook. (A common misconception, for example, is that items in the Laudate hymnbook are covered by the One License scheme.) This is not necessarily the case. A hymnbook publisher will have received permission from copyright holders to reproduce items in that hymnbook.
Check the links below to see which composers and publishers are covered by which licence scheme.
There are three areas of possible copyright: text, music, and graphics (the design of the printed page). If all three are being reproduced there may need to be three distinct copyright permissions.

Music Copyright Licence Schemes (Reprint and Streaming)

For an annual fee, reprint licences allow the reproduction of words (and melody lines of music) of publishers who are members of the scheme.
(N.B. An essential part of the licensing process is reporting which items you have reproduced so that composers, authors, and publishers are compensated fairly for their work. Both schemes have online reporting facilities.)
Depending on your parish’s repertoire, you may require a licence just from one scheme or from both.
Those wishing to live-stream via platforms such as Facebook and YouTube should be covered by the existing licensing agreements in place with those platforms. Please ensure you follow the terms of use and copyright requirements of each respective platform.

One License (formerly Calamus)

(Yes, it’s based in the USA but covers the UK! No, it doesn’t cover everything in the Laudate hymnbook!)
Membership includes graphics for download and use in orders of service.
Reprint Licences are intended for congregational use only. One License does not cover music for choirs, ensembles, cantors, accompanists, or instrumentalists.
Podcast/Streaming Licences are also available (see below), either by themselves or as a bundle with a Reprint Licence.


Check the details of these licences to see which one(s) you need. CCLI offer a wide range of licences for different purposes and most Catholic parishes probably only need the Church Copyright Licence, plus a streaming licence if required. Check whether you are actually reproducing copyright words/music covered by CCLI. Some items are covered by One License as well.

  • Church Copyright Licence
    – permits churches to project or print out (e.g. in service sheets) the words and music of songs and hymns covered by CCLI;
    – covers the audio/video recording of services (which include CCLI songs) on behalf of those unable to attend in person (N.B. Streaming CCLI songs performed during your service requires a CCLI Streaming Licence);
    – permits the creation of custom musical arrangements of songs covered by CCLI where no published version exists.
  • CCLI Music Reproduction Licence 
    An optional add-on to the Church Copyright Licence which allows you to:
    – photocopy or scan pages from hymnals, songbooks and sheet music (including internet downloads) covered by CCLI;
    – distribute digital sheet music files to choir or band members via email or shared app.
  • Songs covered by CCLI (search facility)
  • CCLI Streaming Licence 
    – post live-recorded worship services which include CCLI songs on your church’s website or other streaming platforms (plus see details, below, for more, including uploading videos to YouTube);
    – show lyrics as part of the stream, to enable viewers to sing along (in conjunction with the Church Copyright Licence).
    Details of the CCLI Streaming Licence 
    (N.B. You do not need a Church Video Licence to stream liturgies. That covers the playing of commercial films during services in church. Very few, if any, Catholic parishes are likely to need this.)
  • If you are hosting the stream on your own church website you will also require a Limited Online Music Licence (LOML) directly from PRS for Music.
  • Four simple steps to start streaming worship

PRS (Performing Rights Society) for Music and PPL (Phonographic Performance Limited) 

Please Note: PRS for Music and PPL, at their discretion, do not make a charge for music played or performed during ‘Acts of Divine Worship’ (regular church worship services, weddings, funerals, etc.), provided no entry charge is made.
The licences below are only required if your church hosts live concerts and recitals, or if commercial music recordings are played during parish or other group activities on your premises.

As an agent for PRS for Music and PPL, CCLI offers two licences, tailored to cover the use of music in church life.
The PRS for Music Church Licence permits churches to host live music performances (e.g. up to 6 concerts and recitals a year) on their premises, plus other music performances, such as during socials and outreach events.
The PPL Church Licence covers the playing of commercial music recordings (e.g. CDs) during (non-worship) activities on church premises, e.g. clubs, socials, outreach events or by third-party groups meeting on your premises. These require both licences.
Please see this page for exceptions and exclusions, and for details of licensing a specific event.
Please note: These licences do not cover music use on your website/social media pages. For this, a Limited Online Music Licence may be required directly from PRS for Music.