Are Secular Christmas Carols OK for Catholics To Sing?

Of course they are! Catholics are free to sing “Jingle Bells” or “Frosty the Snowman” or any of the many songs that reflect the Christmas season.

Perhaps there are song parodies that might be objectionable material in general, but most of the tried and true carols that we know well can be sung by Catholics.

However, if the question you are asking is if these tunes can be sung at mass? Then the answer is no. Secular songs do not fit with the liturgy at any time and we come to mass to celebrate the coming and birth of Christ. So we only select songs that reflect the true meaning of Christmas for the mass. In fact, even traditional Christmas carols are not sung at mass during Advent. Songs like “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” are sung to help create the longing for Christmas in our hearts.

Mike Hayes

Mike co-founded in 2001. Currently, Mike is the director of campus ministry at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York. A frequent speaker on ministering to young adults, Mike is the author of "Googling God: The Religious Landscape of People in Their 20s and 30s" and "Loving Work: A Spiritual Guide to Finding the Work We Love and Bringing Love to the Work We Do."