It’s a musical tradition found in Mexican-American enclaves mostly in southwestern U.S. cities. The mariachi Mass brings an ensemble of garishly dressed folk musicians — with their guitars, trumpets and violins — right down to the front of the church, where they play liturgical music as part of the Order of Mass. Some Catholics can’t imagine celebrating the Feast of the Virgin of Guadalupe on Dec. 12 without a mariachi Mass.
“Viva nuestra Señora de Guadalupe!” the Rev. Francis Macatangay intones; he’s priest of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Houston’s historic Sixth Ward.
“Viva!” the congregation replies.