The Son Will Not Eat Before the Father—Chung Sheng Shrine
Because the East and West Corridors included spirit tablets for the fathers of Yanhui, Zengzi, and Zisi–all considered disciples of Confucius—the rule that “the son will not eat before the father” was actually violated during ceremonial procedures. In the Ming Dynasty, the fathers of Confucius, the Four Companion Matches, and others were posthumously conferred titles, and the Qi Sheng Shrine was erected, later renamed “Chung Sheng Shrine” in the first year of the Qing Emperor Yongzheng’s rule. Thereupon, two systems of sacrificial worship were conducted in the Confucius Temple.
This change affected both the sacrificial procedures and space allocation at the Chung Sheng Shrine. Previously, before the Confucius ceremony could be conducted at Ta Cheng Palace, it was necessary to first worship at the Chung Sheng Shrine, according to the latter’s unique system of rites. In other words, before worshipping Confucius, it was necessary to first worship his five generations of ancestors, as well as the fathers of the Four Companion Matches.