The Roman Catholic Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi was evacuated during noon Mass on Ash Wednesday when three CD players duct-taped to the bottom of pews began blaring sexually explicit language.

The players were set to turn on at 12:22 p.m. as parishioners were in the middle of Mass, police Capt. Gary Johnson said.

The recordings were filled with people using foul language and "pornographic messages," Johnson said. He would not elaborate because of the ongoing investigation.

Church staff personnel removed the CD players, took them to the basement and called police, who sent a bomb squad, Johnson said.

The bomb squad blew up two of the players on a grassy area near the church, then kept the third one for analysis after determining the players were not dangerous.

The recordings were made on store-bought blank discs, Johnson said.

"We'll run the full gamut" of tests on the player, including checking for fingerprints or DNA and tracing its components, he said.

Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent, which marks a 40-day period of fasting before Easter. Clergy mark the foreheads of the faithful with ashes to symbolize penance during Ash Wednesday services.