Rorate Caeli

Keeping the Rite

The Traditional Latin Mass is well known, loved and cherished throughout the great land of China. Unfortunately, public records of it in the mainland are not as common as we would like them to be - which is why these images of Christmas Day Mass in Shanghai published by our friend Shawn Tribe of The New Liturgical Movement are so moving.

Congratulations and thanks to those countless priests and lay faithful in that glorious nation who are keeping the liturgical traditions received from their forefathers in the faith. The peoples of China have always loved beauty and appreciated tradition - that we can find in the Traditional Mass of the Lord of Heaven more than in almost anything else on this Earth.


  1. Comments with any kind of political statements, even the most subtle, will be rejected or, if mistakenly approved, deleted. Let us do nothing but help the lives of our brothers and sisters.


  2. Edward, you comment is pertinent, but, please, rephrase it (see above). Thanks!


  3. Beautiful!

    St. Francis Xavier, pray for us.

  4. NLM is one of the finest traditional sites I know. Nevertheless, it saddens me that they never notice the masses of SSPX, a procedure they don’t adopt with the Liturgies of the Eastern Schismatics and now - it seems - with the Masses of the so-called “Chinese Catholic Patriotic Church”. If the liturgies of these ones are indeed beautiful, the Masses of the SSPX are no less beautiful. If the bishops of the “CCPC”, like the Shangai one, are in communion with the Pope, the same also happens with the bishops of the SSPX.

    Dear NC, I know my comment will be cut, but that must be said: amicus Plato, sed magis amica veritas.

  5. God bless the faithful in China for keeping the Faith and the Mass despite enormous obstacles. May Almighty God richly reward them for their efforts.

  6. I just pray that the Traditional Roman Rite flourishes in China and they send out countless missionaries to re-evangelize the world!!!

  7. A Traditional priest9:08 PM

    Edward -- Good point, and thanks for the tactful reminder that we should pray for the conversion of China.

  8. I read that the underground Church had been saying the TLM all they until 1988 when the Vatican finally sent an American priest to show them the N.O. I wonder how many just kept on doing the TLM?

  9. My understanding was that an interesting phenomenon was going on in China, where the "patriotic" church (ie, those controlled by the communist gvmt) continued the TLM as a way of exerting control and demonstrating independence from the Vatican, while the underground Church, in loyalty/solidatrity with Rome and the HOly Father, celebrated the Ordinary Form (N.O.). A bizarre irony compared with our situation in hte Western world

  10. Steve4:29 AM

    Heaven wanted Russia to be converted with a 15 minute prayer by the Pope and Bishops in 1929. We couldn't work that in. So by all means, pray for the conversion of China.

  11. tianzhujiao2:24 PM

    China could have been a Christian nation. The Jesuits made inroads evangelizing the north of China, the Franciscans the south. Unfortunatelly, issues between the orders hampered the growth of the Faith in that country.

    Our Lady of Sheshan pray for us and for the Chinese nation.

  12. The CPCA has never been considered schismatic due to the circumstances faced by Roman Catholics in China. However the Pope has said that he is extremely concerned that those responsible for appointing/recommending bishops for consecration or priests for ordination may not be Christians at all.

    While Rome has given its approval to many recently consecrated bishops, no papal letter of appointment is read at their installation. Recent intransigence of the Beijing government has stopped the reapproachment of relations between the Vatican and the CPCA.

    The CPCA has largely conformed to the liturgical reforms of the Second Vatican Council. When I was in China in the mid 1980s, my Communist Party host brought me to a CPCA church for Easter Mass which was in Latin. Thirteen years later, at a Sunday Mass in Beijing at the same church, it was in the vernacular Mass of Paul VI. However at both instances, I refrained from receiving communion.

    But before we even think of wishing or even congratulation that the old Catholic tradition lives on in China, we should endeavor that ALL CATHOLICS in that great nation should be in obedience to the See of Rome.

  13. Anonymous5:07 PM

    We Catholics in shanghai try our very best to be in union with our Holy Father Benedict and as youngsters who love the traditional Latin mass as a group, we rehearse gregorian propers, in full as in the liber usualis, every week to get the monthly Latin mass at the last Sunday of every week equipped with sound chants.

    We do not want to be misunderstood as schismatics though we know how bad the ccpa has defied the will of the holy see by consec bishops recently without rome's approval. We lament the state of affairs but we do what we can.

    We cannot access the blogspot nor Facebook nor YouTube in china, and I make this one time for all response from an abroad trip. Please, our dear American friends, spare us of the left-right dichotomy and politicizing! We know the church has been unfair to the sspx whom we respect very much and admire and get many of our inspiration from, but please don't make simple judgement or identification on us. Many of us already are educated in the us uk etc and we know the situation in the west, the sp, ecclesia dei and the bad liturgical revolution etc.

    If our friends are interested in the liturgy in china pls do drop me via We are happy to share with you our joys and tears. God bless and let's pray for the conversion of china, not from communism as some simple left right debate would have it, but from materialism and unrestrained capitalism and the worship of wealth.

    Pax et bonum! Augustine, from St Joseph's shanghai

  14. Thanks, Augustine. Pray for us.

  15. My first experience of the TLM, some 15 or 16 years ago was in China - at the public (i.e.'Patriotic' churches). The Congregation recited the rosary - terribly loudly - throughout the Mass, and it was impossible to 'follow' the Mass except to view the priest's actions. My only consolation was that if Mass had been in Chinese, without the rosary being recited, I would not have been able to follow it any better.


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