First Latin Mass and Vespers in Shanghai

Shanghai is a really unique city. We do have Latin Mass every Sunday in a very old and traditional parish in the center of Shanghai. Could you image that? It is on  7 a.m. in the morning in  summer. This means that I have to get out of home at 5:30 a.m. in order to make to the Mass on time. I tried today, and I was still 1o minutes late…er…

It is a very old parish, because this part of Shanghai used to be the center of old Shanghai hundreds of years ago, and this parish used to be our Cathedral. The majority of parishioners in that parish are old Catholic folks, so they maintain a lot of old traditions.  I am not sure whether you have observed the similar customers in your parish: the priest offers Latin mass and people say the prayers aloud on their own.  I did not know what prayers they did , since they did that in traditional Chinese and in Shanghai dialect.. Which is really nice.. but I only know prayers in modern Chinese and mandarin. It became hard for me to follow them, but their prayers were really really beautiful background “music”…( I should say that they chanted the prayer loud…hahaha). After mass, Father dressed in cassock and sat in the confession station . Shanghai is really hot and humid. When you walk outside, it is just like sauna. Moreover,  all our parishes and rectories are without air conditions at all! He is one of priests who is never afraid of heat.. Pray for him! hope that he will not have heatstroke during the summer.

Actually, New Liturgy Movement has introduced this parish before, see the link:

http://www.newliturgicalmovement.org/2011/12/christmas-in-shanghai.html…

It is a beautiful parish with some beautiful stained glasses.. Do not make fun of the altar.. we make fun of that all the time!

After I went back home, I did a little bit research. I did find an old book about what prayers you are supposed to read during different parts of mass. It is a kind of interesting customer..

Finally, I got the news about where we would sing vespers during the lunch time. At that time I was in the southeast  part of Shanghai, and the parish is in the southwest part of Shanghai.. OK.. It took me about 1.30 hour to get there. None of us really have any eduction in singing vespers, so we decided that we would just try that for fun.

One of our friends, nickname little cat…er.. I need to find his real name.. He has a nice voice, so he tookbento the responsiblity of finding the melody. Two of the psalms, we did pretty good job. The rest, forgive us. O lord.

I need to insert a picture here. This is a picture I borrowed from one of my friend who is a “liturgy expert”. I mean in a good way. He does know a lot of things and teaches us a lot of traditional and funny stuff…

OK,   Did you know what is that in his hand?

He is a benedictine. and a Precentor. For those who could not sing on tone during the liturgy of hours, this guy will use the baton in his hand to knock them… HAHAHA, so after we finished the vespers, we made fun of ourselves. If we did that in Benedictine Monastery with a Precentor like that, none of us could make out of vespers….hahaha…

After vespers, when we were ready to go, there were super heavy rain. We stood outside church under roof for a while…

I said, you see. Mother was not happy with our vespers.

Little Bird.. ( one of our friends..): No.. it was because Mother has not heard vespers in Latin in Shanghai for too long, so she began to cry…

Little cat: er.. I thought we might have missed one of the psalms…

Finally, due to the rain was too heavy, we had to go back to the church for a while and we sang many other songs until the end of rain.

It was a really great experience!

I found some great pictures of St. Joseph, where we have Latin Mass and St. Francis X’vier where we sang Vesper online..

 

 

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