i like the music at mass in spanish because…

at yesterday’s feast of the assumption, i did not preside at mass. at a facebook mass, i played the guitar and bongos with the choir!

since moving back to seattle, i have substituted at various parishes. for the past year and half during covid, whenever i was not scheduled to preside, i participate in mass on facebook– my favorite place is our lady of fatima parish in perth amboy, new jersey. especially the 9:00am mass. since the parish is primarily dominican and puerto rican, their music has a caribbean flavor. the music is so fun and moving that i join with the choir with my guitar or bongos– depending on the song.

for me, to play guitar and percussion at mass is a real gift and blessings. i feel so happy. it is not that i do not enjoy presiding at mass– i do know those blessings too; they are just different graces. when i lead worship, there is always a parallel voice going on in my head of the details of what i am doing and what is coming next. all the more since i substitute at different parishes and have to remember and keep in mind the specific way that the mass is celebrated at that place.

but when i am just part of the choir, i can just play and enjoy the moment which is filled with music. music elicits emotion. during worship, joy is one of the main sentiments that bursts forth from the songs. mass music is one of the ways that the Spirit touches our hearts. at times, you can just feel it in the air– it is palpable.

for this reason, even though spanish is not my native tongue, i prefer mass in spanish. the whole feel of spanish masses is culturally different from english masses. maybe it is because the people bring a wholly different set of challenges to the moment. maybe because the crosses– although different– can be heavier in the spanish speaking communities. perhaps it is because thankfulness is more easily given by immigrants. there are a multitude of reasons i suppose.

but the one thing i do know is: the feel of mass is quite different; it is felt in the music.

y por eso,

Senor de paz, amor, y justicia– muchisimas gracias por tu santa presencia en todas las partes de la misa– especialmente la eucaristia, al palabra y hoy paricularmente en la musica!


  1. 100% agree! I grew up in a predominantly Spanish parish and I love going to Spanish mass. Or “folk” mass where guitars are played insteyof an organ.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. frarthurcmf says:

      amen amen! and i used to love it when you and jennifer matthews shared the gift of your voices!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Donna Rodriguez says:

    Beautifully said Fr Art
    God bless u 🙂🙏

    Liked by 1 person

    1. frarthurcmf says:

      thanks for reading it donna. may the Lord shower grace upon you and yours always!


  3. DC says:

    40 years ago on the 15?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. frarthurcmf says:

      oh my…
      belated anniversary blessings don! i pray for even more profound graces in your marriage in the years to come!!


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