Ancestral rites are, in no uncertain terms, the most practiced religious rituals in contemporary China today (Horizon 2007 & 2016). However, the issue of efficacy – or perceived efficacy – remains rather enigmatic. Are ancestral rites perceived as efficacious by people practicing them today? What affects the perceived efficacy of these rituals? Do moral or immoral conducts make a difference in relation to perceived efficacy? How much does lineage status matter? What is the relation between women’s participation in ancestral rituals and the perceived efficacy? This paper addresses these issues through examining interviews and observations conducted between 2008 and 2018 in urban China. I suggest that, instead of being the instrumental goal of ancestral offerings, a fluid notion of efficacy helps structure the ritual action being performed as well as giving it meaning, especially for those in urban China who are relearning or even reinventing the rituals.