Nearly two months after a devastating fire, Mass will once again be celebrated within the Notre Dame Cathedral on Sunday.
In April the Notre Dame Cathedral was consumed by flames, burning the wooden roof and iconic spire to ash. Fortunately, the “main structure” was saved and preserved.
Since then, no Mass had been celebrated within the shuttered Notre Dame. Cathedral rector Bishop Patrick Chauvet, however, announced it’s first post-fire would be had on June 16th.
Chauvet said it will be a celebration of the anniversary of the cathedral’s dedication:
“The date that was chosen is symbolic. This will be the feast of the dedication of the cathedral, that is, the consecration of the altar. 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.”
Mass will be celebrated by Archbishop of Paris Michael Aupetit, held in the “side chapel with a restricted number of people, for obvious security reasons.” Unharmed by the fire, the side chapel housed the Crown of Thorns.
20 will be in attendance, 6 or 7 priests, the archbishop, and the rest various canons – all wearing a hardhat for safety. A local French television channel will broadcast the Mass live so all can participate.
Chauvet also announced that until the restoration is complete, a small Marian shrine will be setup out side the cathedral, save for approval from French authorities. If approved, evening prayers would be celebrated nightly on the parvis.