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 excludes hymns or guitar-accompanied songs.

Malkarrin
The malkarrin series, composed by Mulinthinh 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 (Murrinh-patha thanpa, Marri Tjevin wangka and Marri Ngarr lirrga), giving rise to repertories known locally as 'church thanpa', 'church lirrga' and 'church wangka' (see Barwick 2003 for an account of the Marri Ngarr 'church lirrga' repertory). Church thanpa and church lirrga songs are still performed occasionally during church services in Wadeye, but church wangka seems to have fallen out of use some years ago.

Hymns
There are also a number of hymns that have been translated into Murrinh-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 Murrinh-patha. The Wadeye Aboriginal Sound Archive includes many locally-made recordings of church songs and hymns sung by the Wadeye Choir.