Hymns for the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, Year B (31 December 2023) - Catholic lectionary

A selection of hymns and songs, based on themes from the Roman Catholic lectionary for Sunday in the Octave of Christmas - Feast of the Holy Family, Year B.

Most are free-to-use (ie public domain or copyright-free) meaning the words can be copied and sung to at least one tune with no concerns about copyright or performance licensing. Many such hymns are old/traditional - but where possible a variety of styles / genres are included.  A small selection of hymns which are still copyright, but are a particularly good fit for the day's readings, are also included.

Other suggestions are welcome - please leave a comment below.

Seasonal note

Most communities have a familiar repertoire of public domain Christmas music, so finding free-to-use hymns for time is simple. The list below doe not include all well known Christmas carols, just ones that are a particularly good fit with the lectionary themes for this feast.

Some communities use the Year A readings on this feast day. Hymn suggestions for them are available here.


First: Genesis 15:1-6.  21:1-3 - The word of God spoken to Abram in a vision ...  Look up to the heavens and count the stars - such will be your descendants.

Psalm: 104 - He the Lord, is our God, he remembers his covenant forever / Give thanks to the Lord tell his name / Be proud of his holy name / Remember the wonder he has done.

Second: Hebrews 11: 8, 11-12, 17-19 - The faith of Abraham leaving his home and Sarah believing she would conceive - and their faith in God when they offered Issac to the Lord.

Gospel: Luke 2:22-40 - Jesus is taken to the Temple for purification, and there he is seen by Simeon, who recognises him as salvation, and the prophetess Anna.


The Holy Family of Nazareth - Mary, Joseph and Jesus, modelled on Abraham and Sarah.   Living together in unity and peace, respect and love.

Free-use artwork

See lectionary art for this Sunday for suggested pictures and art-works based on today's readings.

Free-use hymns

For the Beauty of the Earth (esp verse 3)

Good Christian Friends Rejoice

In Christ there is no East or West

In His Temple Now Behold Him

Jesus my Lord my God my All

Joseph Dearest, Joseph Mine

Nunc Dimittis

O Come Little Children

Of the Father's Love Begotten

Once in Royal David's City

Sleep Holy Babe

Unto us a Boy is Born

Unto us a Child is Born

Virgin Born we Bow Before Thee

What Child is This

Hymns that are / may be still copyright

At last all Powerful Master you give Leave to your Servant to Go - Gelineau

Aye Carol - Bell

Child of Gladness - Perry

Come Sing a Home and Family - Hommerding

Gathered in the Love of Christ - Haugen

God's Holy Family - Schiavone

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