Friday, November 23, 2012

Las Cruces, NM: Mariachi Conference: Mariachi Mass

Mariachi Conference, Mariachi Mass, Las Cruces, New Mexico

I mentioned here that the Mariachi Mass was a moving example of how intercultural America is, when at its best.

The video below shows the entrance procession. How many cultural threads can you identify?

The bishop of the Las Cruces Diocese presided over the Mass. He has a charismatic air, a good wit, a good singing voice, and he switched between English and Spanish frequently and smoothly throughout the Mass. In reviewing his vitae, it seems he has a strong interest in civil justice issues. The diocese is 30 years old; Bishop Ricardo Ramirez has been its only bishop thus far.

I hadn't been to a Mass in a long, long time. So I was rather surprised at a couple of new touches. One was the raising of one's forearms in a gesture I associate with evangelical services. Another was that everyone held hands while reciting the Lord's Prayer. Oh, and then ending the Lord's Prayer with the addendum about "For thine is the kingdom, the power, and glory." OK, man, these are definitely Protestant influences that have insinuated themselves into the Roman Catholic traditions. (Not that there's anything wrong with that. Besides, see forthcoming post on cultural claims.)

There were two mariachi bands at the Mass. The celebrity band was Mariachi Cobre out of Florida. The other was a local band, Mariachi Aguilas, from La Mesa. Mariachi Cobre are regular performers at Disney World. They are damn good.


If you ever intend to go to the Las Cruces Mariachi Conference's Mariachi Mass, getting there half an hour early is plenty of time to get a good seat. I (and two women behind me) arrived an hour early and, yes, we got good seats, but there were plenty of empty seats languishing while we cooled our heels.

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