Since Port Keats was established as a Catholic mission in the 1930s, there has been a strong current of songs in both traditional and modern styles with Christian themes. Our project only deals with songs in traditional genres, so does not document hymns or other songs in Western styles.

Malgarrin
The malgarrin series, composed by Mulindjin in the 1930s, was associated with his prophetic dream in which he was visited by the Virgin Mary (see Stockton 1985). Some but not all of the songs in the series have overtly Christian themes.

Liturgy
In the early 1970s, the Catholic church encouraged Aboriginal parishioners in various communities throughout Australia to compose songs with Christian themes in indigenous styles. At Wadeye (Port Keats) songs were composed in all three main ceremonial song genres (Murriny Patha djanba, Marri Tjevin wangga and Marri Ngarr lirrga), giving rise to repertories known locally as 'church djanba', 'church lirrga' and 'church wangga' (see Barwick 2003 for an account of the Marri Ngarr 'church lirrga' repertory).

On 24 February 1973 a group of people from Port Keats (Wadeye) performed church djanba and lirrga at the Myer Music Bowl, Melbourne, on the occasion the First National Aboriginal Mass celebrated as part of the 40th International Eucharistic Congress, witnessed by over 30,000 people, including the visiting Polish Cardinal Karol Jozef Wojtyla (later Pope John Paul II). The event was broadcast nationally on ABC TV (see Australian Broadcasting Commission film 1973, in References). The service was attended by Cardinal Karol Josef Wojtla Church djanba and church lirrga songs are still performed occasionally today during church services in Wadeye, but church wangga seems to have fallen out of use some years ago.

Hymns
There are also a number of hymns that have been translated into Murriny Patha, some by the SIL linguist Chester Street, who with his wife Lyn Street worked at the school in Wadeye and also helped to produce a number of cassettes of Christian songs.There are also a number of locally-composed religious songs in Murriny Patha. The Wadeye Aboriginal Sound Archive includes many locally-made recordings of church songs and hymns sung by the Wadeye Choir.