Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

A Daily Mass in Cambodia

March 6th, 2011, Promulgated by Bernie

Here is a short video of a daily Mass we attended while in Cambodia at St. John’s Church in Siem Reap. The Mass was celebrated in the Khmer language.  Noticing that we were English-speaking the reader proclaimed the first reading in English. You will hear music and singing in the video which was coming from a neighboring, non-affiliated, pavilion that was hosting a wedding (at 6:30 a.m.)

The Mass was the most different of any we have attended –anywhere! (Excluding, of course, the crazy Masses we’ve experienced at home.) Noticeable, however, was the piety and reverence of the priest and the participants. Now, this was a daily Mass and so you might expect such piety and reverence from daily communicants, but we found the same reverence and piety, as well,  at the Sunday Masses we attended in both Cambodia and Borneo.

A couple of things you will probably notice: First, everyone kneels back on their legs throughout the Mass –including the priest. They put up some chairs in the back for those who can’t or don’t want to get on the floor (I sat on a chair. If I hadn’t I’d still be trying to get up off the floor!). The congregation kneels upright for the consecration, however. Secondly, self-intinction (priest and congregation) was the norm for communion under both forms everywhere we went in Borneo and Cambodia.

View the video here.

St. John’s Church –the one shown in the video- is one of only two churches around that town/city. It’s a rather small parish. The other is actually about 8 miles away and part of the floating villages on Tonle Sap Lake.  In February 2006, the people at St. John’s Church discovered a Catholic community at the floating village of Prek Toal who call themselves the Christmas Group. It was started by a simple woman, a housewife, who was baptized in 1972 in Phnom Penh. Her simple, joyful and faithful life attracted many people. They call themselves the Christmas Group because they came together for a big celebration on Christmas each year. A church was built for them and named The Church of St. Joseph. There are about 50-70 parishioners. We didn’t visit St. Joseph’s although we did visit the floating villages on our last day in Cambodia.

Floating Catholic Church, St. Joseph's Church built for the "Christmas Group"

 View a short clip of the floating village.

Part of the floating villages

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little peek into another corner of the world.



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