Tag: Mass

Mass in Shanghai

| July 7, 2013 | 0 Comments

St. Ignatius aka Xujiahui Cathedral

I attended Mass at St. Ignatius Church in Shanghai. It is presumably a Jesuit Church. It was much more traditional, in every respect, than Mass in Beijing. In fact, outside of the language, it was more traditional than most of the Masses I’ve been to in the U.S.

I went to the 7:30 am Mass on Sunday, which in the U.S. is usually a short Mass. One American priest said in his homily that he keeps his sermons short for the 7:30 am Mass, because people that come to Mass that early “have things to do.”  Not so in Shanghai. In fact, the 7:30 wasn’t even the first Mass of the day. They had one at 6 am.

This Mass was a full “smells and bells” extravaganza. I was splashed with holy water and immersed incense before the priest even gave the sign of the cross. And the sermon was interminable, even allowing for the language barrier. It went on for about half an hour, where sermons in the U.S. are usually about 10 minutes.

Otherwise, however, I have to say it was a pretty rich experience. The choir and the congregation filled the church with song. And, unlike Beijing, the hymns were traditional western church music, though sung in Mandarin.  I enjoyed the Mass and it was a good view of authentic Shanghai, as I did not see another non-Chinese person in the congregation.