Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris will not host Christmas mass this week for the first time in over two centuries.
“This is the first time since the French Revolution that there will be no midnight Mass (at Notre Dame),” cathedral rector Patrick Chauvet told The Associated Press.
The cathedral was very seriously damaged in a fire on April 15.
For the first time in over 200 years, Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris won’t hold Christmas services. https://t.co/3JFMQUxfs1
— WNDU (@WNDU) December 23, 2019
PARIS – Notre Dame kept Christmas going even during two world wars — a beacon of hope amid the bloodshed.
Yet an accidental fire in peacetime finally stopped the Paris cathedral from celebrating Midnight Mass this year, for the first time in over two centuries.
As the lights stay dim in the once-invincible 855-year-old landmark, officials are trying hard to focus on the immediate task of keeping burned out Notre Dame’s spirit alive in exile through service, song and prayer.
It has decamped its rector, famed statue, liturgy and Christmas celebrations to a new temporary home pending the restoration works, just under a mile away, at another Gothic church in Paris called Saint-Germain l’Auxerrois.
And there it will remain, as works slowly progress to rebuild the cathedral after the April 15 fire destroyed its lead roof and spire and was moments away from engulfing its two stone towers.
There was even a Christmas service amid the carnage of World War I, Chauvet noted, “because the canons were there and the canons had to celebrate somewhere,” referring to the cathedral’s clergy. During World War II, when Paris was under Nazi occupation, “there was no problem.” He said that to his knowledge, it was only closed for Christmas in the period after 1789, when the anti-Catholic French revolutionaries turned the monument into “a temple of reason.” More
After a wildfire on April 15 that consumed its roof and spire, Paris’s Notre-Dame Cathedral is undergoing massive repair work. The site remains closed to the public but rare access inside the cathedral has been granted to see how things are coming along and to get a sense of the task that still lies ahead.
So many Catholic churches in France have been vandalized or set on fire over the past ten years. It makes you wonder what’s really going on?
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