Joyous news indeed.
The historic Notre Dame cathedral will see its first Mass celebrated since almost being destroyed in a fire on April 15th of this year.
Notre-Dame Cathedral has announced it will celebrate its first Mass on June 15, two months after a fire damaged the iconic French church.
The cathedral’s rector, Mgr Patrick Chauvet, said the cathedral will be celebrating the anniversary of its dedication, the consecration of the altar, which is traditionally celebrated on June 16 every year.
“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,” Chauvet told La Croix International. “Celebrating the Eucharist on that day, even in very small groups, will be the sign of this glory and grace.”
The Mass will be celebrated by the Archbishop of Paris for a small group of twenty people or so, all of whom will be required to wear hard hats while in the damaged church.
The Mass will be televised and should provide a bit of respite and unity in what has become a contentious restoration effort.
A battle is raging between politicians who want Notre Dame to have a modern face lift along with its restoration and those who want the cathedral returned to its original look.
The French Senate is in the latter camp, and passed a bill last month that says Notre Dame must be restored to “last known visual state.” The bill has not become law.
President Emanuel Macron has stated that the cathedral’s restoration should feature a “a contemporary architectural gesture” and Prime Minister Édouard Philippe launched a competition among architects for a new design. The first submission to the competition was truly horrendous.
Whichever path is chosen, France hopes to have the restoration project complete by the time Paris hosts the 2024 Olympics.