Why steal from the Catholic Church?
When my mariachi started performing mariachi masses in 2005, we didn’t have much experience, to say the least. We learned all the mariachi mass songs from Jose, our guitarron player’s father. He studied music at a conservatory in Sinaloa and plays the mass music at Huntington Park’s Saint Matthias Church; sometimes, his son goes in and plays for him.
As he was teaching us the songs, he mentioned Flor y canto, which is a popular book of Spanish hymnals used in most churches in the United States and Latin America. It’s regarded as one of the definitive collections of songs to be played in mass; it’s an invaluable resource at any Spanish-language Catholic mass. It has the songs in order of how they should be played at mass and even has specific masses ordered with songs (such as quinceañeras, weddings, etc.).
At one of our recent performances, I saw a stack of Flor y canto books with no one even pretending to hide them. I considered taking one home, but rather than take such a large book home under my mariachi jacket, I decided to look inside it for a website. Lo and behold, it did have a website, and when I checked it today, I found that Flor y canto is available for only five bucks. I think I’m going to order it for my own use. I really hope to learn the songs in the book.
Here’s a video of one of the songs in the book. It’s called “Pescador de hombres” and it is played as church goers line up to receive the host. It’s a very catchy tune and can get stuck in my head for days on end:
The book cover for the Second Edition of Flor y canto is taken from the OCP website.