Mass will be celebrated at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on Saturday for the first time since fire damaged the historic church two months ago. Source: La Croix International.
Cathedral rector Msgr Patrick Chauvet said the date chosen was symbolic. “This will be the feast of the dedication of the cathedral, that is, the consecration of the altar,” Msgr Chauvet said. “It is very important to be able to make the world aware that the role of the cathedral is to show the glory of God. Celebrating the Eucharist on that day, even in very small groups, will be the sign of this glory and grace.”
Restoration of the building is still the subject of fierce debate and safety considerations have to be managed regarding the church’s structural stability.
“It is important to show that the cathedral remains the place of God’s tenderness in the heart of France’s capital,” Msgr Chauvet said.
“As General Jean-Louis Georgelin said: The objective is to get back into the cathedral as soon as possible so that worship can be celebrated again, because that is what a cathedral is all about!”
Shortly after the fire, General Georgelin was appointed by French President Emmanuel Macron to head restoration of the Paris landmark.
Msgr Chauvet also announced that a small Marian sanctuary will soon be set up in front of the cathedral. The shrine will house a copy of the Virgin at the Pillar and pilgrims will be able to contemplate and pray to the Blessed Mother.
The Catholic Herald reports Mass, which will be celebrated by Paris Archbishop Michel Aupetit, will be held in the side chapel where the Holy Crown of Thorns was kept. The chapel was not damaged in the April 15 fire.
The Archdiocese of Paris said the Mass will be broadcast live on French television.
Motivated by the 2024 Summer Olympics being held in Paris, Mr Macron has said he wants the cathedral restored in five years.
First post-fire Mass set for Notre-Dame (La Croix International)
Notre-Dame to celebrate first post-fire Mass on Saturday (Catholic Herald)