OFFERINGS TO THE ANCESTORS
Figures on Left: Top figure is ordinarily representing the temple and the presence of the Ancestors in the temple by the inlet to the sanctuary, a narrow pass between two or four pillars. All the supplicants, son and grandsons, are standing in front of this entrance, the spot where the offerings are presented. The symbol directly beneath represents a hand offering, which is neither a flame nor incense, but the smell of the offered meat ascending toward the Ancestors. Beneath is the image of a libation cup. (?)
Middle column: The middle figures represent a gate to the temple where the son offering to his father (and Ancestors) is represented in an ethereal shape which figures his being raptured and transported mentally in the presence of his Ancestors, by his filial love and desire to please them. The grandsons that are able to stand upright are figured beneath the son (the father).
Right column: Another similar offering. Underneath the hand and meat offering is a sort of tear, a symbol of the poured down libation of wine.
—Dr. L. Wieger, S.J., Chinese Characters