Ten months before the reopening of the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Archbishop of Paris has unveiled celebrations for the inauguration of the Gothic masterpiece. Source: Vatican News.
The reopening period will include numerous celebrations and pilgrimages, and will extend from December 8 to June 8, 2025, the feast of Pentecost, coinciding with the universal Church’s Jubilee.
Archbishop Laurent Ulrich announced the initiatives in a pastoral letter published on February 2, inviting the faithful to celebrate the Cathedral’s inauguration after a fire gutted it on April 15, 2019.
Fifteen days before the church’s reopening, a large procession will accompany the return of the image of Our Lady to the Cathedral along the streets of Paris.
Having escaped the flames, the image of the Virgin and Child, a sculptural masterpiece from the 14th century and 1.8 metres tall, has been housed at the Saint-Germain-l’Auxerrois church, facing the Louvre Palace.
The reopening itself will take place over three days, incorporates the official inauguration on the evening of December 7. The inauguration will include the handover of the cathedral from the state owner to the Catholic Church; the “awakening” of the organ; a liturgical celebration with blessing; a Magnificat or a Te Deum, and then Vespers.
The consecration of the altar will take place during the first Mass in the restored Cathedral on Sunday, December 8, the second Sunday of Advent this year.
The next day will see the liturgical celebration of the Immaculate Conception on Monday, December 9.
From December 8-15, a solemn celebration will take place each day with a particular theme.
Archbishop Ulrich highlighted the presence of several public figures, including representatives of the French State, donors, teams that have worked for five years, firefighters who saved the building, French bishops, foreign bishops, and representatives of French dioceses.
Paris Archbishop unveils celebrations for Notre Dame Cathedral reopening (By Delphine Allaire, Vatican News)