Harmonica during Mass. Thoughts?

Last night I went to Mass. Music consisted of two guitars, four voices, and a harmonica. What would you think of a harmonica being played as part of the music at Mass?

P.S.: Not wanting to cause any arguments; just wanting to hear other people’s opinions. :slight_smile:

Well, a harmonica is called a “mouth organ”… just saying.

The pipe organ is to be held in high esteem in the Latin Church…

:hmmm: Oh, pipe organ.

Never mind… :smiley:


Personally, I prefer pipe organs, and if not available, piano.

It would be fine with me. It’s just an instrument - and it can be played nicely.

I personally prefer traditional music and an organ (pipe or electronic), but if there are going to be other secular instruments (guitar, violin, piano, bass…) then the harmonica is as legitimate as any other.

With one caveat…

I would not like an electric guitar playing in “lead” style, or a violin playing a dominating solo. As the harmonica can be quite dominant, the playing should be restrained.

If it was played with taste I might not mind. I’d be more bothered by the guitars. I know of at least one parish where a drum set is employed. :dts:

We had a priest who played harmonica “meditations”.

We have a regular parishioner who, just once or twice a year, plays harmonica meditations after a weekday Mass and while people are lining up for the confessional.

He plays quietly, and he plays standards such as “Hail Queen of Heaven”.

When you hear the first notes you get quite a surprise, but quickly get to like it… :slight_smile:

No - that would be my opinion - just no.

Depends on the style. I wouldn’t really have any objections whatsoever to any given instrument being played at mass so long as it was appropriate for the setting and the musical style.

I have actually heard a harmonica being played that sounded like a cello. It took me about five minutes to actually accept that I was hearing a harmonica. On Youtube. If you’d like I can send the link.

I like organs, pianos, and violins at mass personally, so long as they’re played well.

I’m afraid that would cause me to go parish shopping again.

Its not the parish that I normally go to, but my mom was working on the weekend, and it was almost our only option for Mass.

I won’t parish-bash on here, but all I can say about this particular parish is that it is not the most orthodox, faithful Catholic one out there. :frowning:

I would think that Bob Dylan or Billy Joel converted.



I also would say no. Truthfully I am not a fan of the “guitar Mass”. Our parish has a 10:30 Mass on Sunday that is said with the guitars as the only source of music.
Maybe that’s why I still prefer the Vigil. The organ seems to resonate so much better in the Church.

My thoughts?

Well, I would have to go to confession after taking the instrument and destroying it. Or perhaps just dipping it in the restroom for a while…:eek::smiley:

So how does everyone feel about the cymbelstern?

They played one during the recessional at my wedding.
Loved it.

I have mixed feelings on this. When we lived in Phoenix, Arizona, we went to Mass every
Sunday and twice a year all of the parishes in the Diocese of Maricopa County held a
POLKA MASS. I must say, it was wonderful. Since that time, Hubby and I have attended
a MARIACHI MASS in San Antonio, Texas and other services at our local parish where the
norm is much singing and music.
SING A NEW SONG UNTO THE LORD. In some parishes, the music ministry is very
strong and one of the reasons why people attend. As for me, I enjoy all the music. As far
as a harmonica? I have never heard one at a service.
When my mother passed away we had her funeral Mass at our parish with the most
beautiful music. Many comments were made. AFTER the service ended, Fr. O’Connor did
allow us to have a well known trumpet player play TIME TO SAY GOODBYE. It was marv-
Music is so joyful if done right in a parish. So, to answer your question-----YES, have the

+1 :thumbsup:

All it takes for you to leave your parish is a harmonica?

That beats anything I ever heard in the church-hop loving Protestant churches. Wow.

You’re giving way too much power to a physical entity. If a harmonica can push you around, then how will you withstand true persecution and trials?

For those of you who are easily-offended by Mass music, I suggest that you ask the Lord to use the offensive music as a “thorn in your flesh” that helps you to be more dependent on Jesus and less dependent on yourself. I also suggest that you use it as a means of developing the discipline of detachment.

You can’t keep leaving parishes because someone yanks your music chain. You will never, ever find a parish that is musically flawless and perfectly in line with your understanding of Mass music. Never. Let’s learn to live with that and find joy in the Mass anyway.

I’m willing to bet cash that in the harmonica-playing parish, there are plenty of pianists and possibly even an organist who are hiding their lights under bushels and refuse to step out of their comfort zone and play for Mass. Be GRATEFUL that the dear harmonica player is willing to play for Jesus and his/her fellow parishioners at Mass. Jesus will honor that willingness to step up and do the work of the Kingdom of God. Music doesn’t play itself.

And as someone else said, the harmonica is a form of organ–air moving through space. It’s played with the mouth instead of the feet and hands.

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