Archdiocese hosts hymn competition for Year of Mercy

December 22, 2015

HOUSTON — In honor of the Year of Mercy, the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston has announced a hymn competition with the theme, “Merciful like the Father.”

The hymn composer must reside in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston at the time of the submission and may offer no more than two entries. Each entry must be an original composition not previously submitted elsewhere.

Hymn parameters include: 
■ Has to be sacred, liturgical music inspired and grounded in Scripture or the writings of the Church fathers or saints based on the theme: Merciful like the Father.
■ Must be a minimum of three minutes in length.
■ May be strophic, refrain/verse, antiphon/verse, metered or non-metered.
■ Must be accessible.
■ May use an appropriate hymn tune or may be an original composition.
■ May be any voicing with consideration to the participation of the assembly.
■ The submission must include keyboard accompaniment.
■ The language of the hymn may be in English, Spanish, Latin, Vietnamese, bilingual or multilingual. If the composition is in a language other than English, please include an English translation with submission.
Submission details include:
■ The composer application found on the Archdiocesan website (
■ If selected the winner/composer agrees that the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston has exclusive rights to the music throughout the Year of Mercy 2016 (concluding Nov. 20, 2016) and said Archdiocese may distribute, perform and provide assembly, choral and accompaniment versions to all entities including parishes, schools and religious communities within the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston without any compensation. 
■ A printed (not hand written) computer notated submission, plus keyboard accompaniment, submitted as a PDFfile. (There are free composition software programs available online).

Composition submission must be in the hands of the committee no later than Wednesday, Feb. 17, at 11:59 p.m. Any submissions received via US mail or email after this time will not be considered for this contest (See composer application at for mailing/email options to transmit the submission). Information on mailing/emailing can be found on the composer application.

The winner will be determined no later than March 4, 2016. The winner’s music will be distributed for use throughout the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston with the suggestion of using the music on Divine Mercy Sunday, April 3, 2016. The winner may be asked to work with the music committee to have their hymn adapted in other languages.

Once the Year of Mercy concludes, the winner can beginto seek publication of the piece. The Office of Worship will assist the composer in this endeavor. The Archdiocese requires the copyright information include Commissioned by the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston for the Year of Mercy 2016 in the copyright line.

Winner’s music may be used during the National Pastoral Musicians Conference held in Houston July 11 to 16, 2016.
A monetary prize of $1,000 will be awarded.