Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Mass en Francais in China

Yes, you read that right.  Although I haven't been the best Catholic church-goer while I've lived in Shanghai, I wasn't about to miss Easter mass this morning.  So, I carefully mapped out one of the three Catholic churches here in the city (and a spot for brunch, too).  The Chinese are not allowed to worship at any church, and that law was enacted under Mao's rule, but there are still a few Christian churches of various denominatiors around for the expats.  The churches were all built before his reign.

Anyway, I found a Church fairly close by our apartment that had 10:30 mass in English.  Perfect.  So, we drove up, and followed some of the Westerners who knew where they were going.  We walked in about 10:15 and Mass had already started...and it was in French.  So, we sat in an open pew and enjoyed the beautiful sound of the romantic language being delivered by the priest - and the music was beautiful.  Not what we expected, but certainly a very nice experience.    Apparently, like many other churches, they changed their schedule for Easter weekend.  Oops.

Also, this weekend is Tomb Sweeping weekend in China.  It's a three-day weekend where families go to the gravesites of their ancestors and clean their headstones and leave offerings so that they have money and gifts in their afterlife.  Just thought it was ironic that it is the same weekend this year as Easter, when Jesus' tomb was empty.

Happy Easter!

Some pics from the weekend.

Just outside our apartment building the birch trees are wrapped with lights and have snowflake lights hanging from them.  They did this before New Year's and they're still up.

The Bund is a riverwalk area alongside the Huangpu river that separates the two sections of Shanghai - Puxi and Pudong.  It is the site for many colonial style buildings which were built around the turn of the 20th century by European architects.  It's been closed for the last year or so, so that they could renovate it for the World Expo which starts in May.  It was a nice day out, as you can see from the crowds.  We usually don't feel like we live in a city of 18+million, but everyone seemed to be out yesterday.

A famous view of Shanghai and the Pearl Tower.  This is the tower I went up with dad when he was in town.

Pic of the week.  More fun with signage.  Not sure what "stomachology" is and am pretty sure that I don't want to be sick enough to find out, though my nasty illness earlier this week probably qualified for seeing a doc at this health center.

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