Mariachi music during mass

In my church, the choir sings in mariachi style, but I think that mariachi music is not appropriate for the mass. When I talked to my mother about this she said it was just part of the hispanic culture but I think that the music played during the mass should be more serious because the mass is sacred.

What do you think about it? do you think its appropriate for the mass?

Being Mexican descent myself I can tell you mariachi music is only part of culture from those who come from Jalisco, Mex. Other Mexicans like those from DF or Northern part are not into that type of music or at least it’s not part of their culture, it’s a common misconception many Americans have about Mexican culture. It’s like saying all Americans are into country music which is not true, but yet the two top music types associated with American culture by other cultures is Rock or Country. Anyways, I think you are right the music does not belong at the mass. Mariachi is very popular secular music and does not really contribute to music.

Being Mexican descent myself I can tell you mariachi music is only part of culture from those who come from Jalisco, Mex. Other Mexicans like those from DF or Northern part are not into that type of music or at least it’s not part of their culture, it’s a common misconception many Americans have about Mexican culture. It’s like saying all Americans are into country music which is not true, but yet the two top music types associated with American culture by other cultures is Rock or Country. Anyways, I think you are right the music does not belong at the mass. Mariachi is very popular secular music and does not really contribute to music

I wasn’t saying that all mexicans like mariachi music and im not american. I was born in El Salvador and my grandparents are of spanish decent. Anyway, do you think I should talk to the parish priest about this?

Mariachi music is not sacred music. Period. It should not be played at Mass.

what I think is irrelevant. What does your pastor think? What did he say when you asked him?

What does your pastor think? What did he say when you asked him?

I haven’t asked him yet because im afraid that he might get offended or that if something is done, the hispanic community will get offended.

I know you did not say that, the explanation was more for those who will probably come on here and start claiming that it’s ok because “it’s a mexican thing”. Sorry I did not explain myself. Can I ask how old you are? Reason I ask is because if you are young the priest might not take you serious, I know it’s harsh to hear but it happens. You could talk to him and let him know about you feelings on the music during the mass.

Don’t worry. They will get offended. But it will be better in the end. When we run along flipping out about everybody getting offended, we just turn into liberals.

Im 15 years old but the priest knows that im very religious and that I pray the rosary daily.

In my early youth, many years ago even before Vatican II, every year during the festivities for Our Lady of Guadalupe, there were Mariachis and many of the songs were very beautiful and are sung to this day. Mariachi is considered the voice of Mexico and is very deep in their culture. When done in a dignified manner it is very beautiful. Now, on the other hand, many parishes get somebody to strum a guitar, play whatever and they call it Mariachi, and those I do not like. AMOF in my parish, the pastor who just happens to be from Mexico has slowly done away with these so call mariachi groups and at all the Masses whether in English or Spanish, the organ is used. There may be a guitar or two but they are drowned out by the organ. I don’t mind them on special occasions like on Dec 12, but I don’t think its appropriate to use them every Sunday, just like I don’t like to see these so call “folk Mass” where you have some kids playing the guitars, get a bass, tambourine and try to imitate Peter, Paul, and Mary. So if you are going to talk to the priest about the Mariachi Mass, be sure to include these rock bands, folk bands, etc. Just look at how many new churches are being built and do not have an organ, but have a piano, places for microphones, a drum set like a big stage right next to the altar.

look at how many new churches are being built and do not have an organ, but have a piano, places for microphones, a drum set like a big stage right next to the altar

My parish church is exactly like that though it doesn’t have a drum set. There is also a chapel that is part of the parish and it has a organ but sadly, no one uses it.

I would talk to your priest if you are bothered. If he really knows you, then perhaps he will fill you in on why he does what he does. I would not write off the cultural aspect too quickly. Mananitas is mariachi style music. Also there is a dancing and drumming worship for Our Lady of Guadalupe that goes back hundreds of years. I can’t remember the name, but the worship is rooted in native American tradition. I don’t think it is Aztec though. I will see if I can find out.

Here in Houston (and around Texas) we have processions to celebrate the Virgin of Guadalupe with men dressed in traditional Aztec costume. I can’t remember the name they go by, either, but the tradition is Aztec.

I’ve been to a couple of Masses with very beautiful, reverent, and joyful mariachi music played by good local musicians. It may not be “sacred” music, but I found it much more appropriate for worship than some of the stuff in the hymnals these days. I doubt that tribesmen in Africa have anything close to what we Western-European-American white types would call “sacred” at their Masses, either.

I am from the South Texas hinterland, just across the Rio Grande from Mexico. The Cathedral has the Mariachis on from time to time. The music is just not fitting, in my opinion, for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. When the first rector of the Cathedral took over, the first thing he did was get rid of the Mariachis and restore the use of the organ. The Masses were beautiful and sacred. When the administrator took over, he brought back the Mariachis, much to my chagrin (I was assisting with liturgy and worship at the time). The music became quite dreadful and all sense of the sacred was gone. I tried my best to express that to both the administrator and the local ordinary, but, to no avail. When the next administrator came along (a native of Mexico), he got rid of them and restored the organ. Unfortunately, they’ve come back.

The Mariachis seem to have no sense of liturgical seasons, let alone liturgical propriety. For example, during the season of Lent, when the music is supposed to be subdued, they were there with trumpets blaring away. During the first Sunday of Advent, they launched into the Gloria. People do come because they like to listen to them, but, in my opinion, the Mariachis add nothing to the Mass. The sad fact is that they detract from the sacred, solemn and dignified nature of the Holy Sacrifice.

Mariachis are more common to festivals, restaurants and greeting convention groups. In fact, the when a convention or a tour group visits our city, they are sometimes entertained by a Mariachi band. The style is completely secular and are a very recent innovation. The Matachines, on the other hand, date back some 500 years, to the time of the Guadalupe apparitions.

The Mariachis are a fairly recent innovation. In my opinion, it would be a misnomer to compare them to indigenous African tribes. Mariachis are more common to restaunts, .festivals in public squares, bars and parties. They are primarily entertainment.

The Matachines, on the other hand, do have, as I noted in my first response to this thread, a history that is half a millenium old. They are more congruent with the indigenous African tribes.

I believe you are referring to “matachines”, which are also quite common in New Mexico as well. This is from a town nearby where I live, celebrating the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe: youtube.com/watch?v=lc9o8f39TeQ

For a brief history, here is one taken from the official New Mexico state tourism website:

“The Matachines dance (Spanish matachin, or religious dancer) is found in northern Mexico especially in the La Laguna Region (Coahuila and Durango), Sinaloa and Chihuahua. It is also very popular in Northern New Mexico and along the Rio Grande River. People who join the Matachines do it for a religious purpose, since the dance is intended to venerate either Mother Mary, a saint, Christ, or God the Holy Trinity.
Dressed in fantastic Indian costumes, the chief characters are El Monarca, the monarch (Montezuma); the captains (Montezuma’s main generals); La Malinche, or Malintzin, the Indian mistress of Hernán Cortés; El Toro, the bull, the malevolent comic man of the play is dressed in buffalo skins with buffalo horns on his head. Characters also include Abuelo, the grandfather, and Abuela, the grandmother. The Matachines dance portrays the desertion of his people by Montezuma, Malinche luring him back with her wiles and smiles, the final reunion of king and people and the killing of El Toro, who is supposed to have made all the mischief. The most basic symbol of the dance is good vs. evil, with good prevailing. Montezuma and la Malinche represent good, and the bull represents mischief. Hernan Cortes, represents Satan or evil.
The costumes, rattles, and the arch and bow are all blessed by a priest, and as he blesses the equipment of that group, it signifies that the priest has agreed to adopt the specific dancing group for that specific church.”

newmexico.org/nativeamerica/enjoy/matachines.php

Exactly! Mariachi music has never been used for worship of any kind, it has always been secular and entertainment. As for African tribes, many tribes have there worship style, and dance seperate from celebration music and dance. We of western civilization have never had dance has worship. In my opinion mariachi music does not belong in the liturgy, just like rock or folk music does not belong in the liturgy as well. Please watch EWTN live on music for the liturgy
ewtn.com/tv/live/ewtnlive.asp

That is the group I was thinking of. This type of veneration of the Virgin of Guadalupe pre-dates our country. It is an excellent example of the Catholic tradition of using the culture to worship. When we speak of Western civilization we must not be so narrow as to exclude the part of the Western hemisphere that lies south of the Rio Grande. In keeping with tradition, I have only seen this practice in my parish on or near the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Again, mariachi music is not exclusively secular. There is the Mananitas. This is also something we do at Christmas.

then you approve

Yes, they are two completely different things. I just do not think that the average white American idea of what is appropriate is the rule for all over the world.

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