All participants will be required to wear hard hats
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 Local reported that the Mass, which will be celebrated by Archbishop of Paris 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.
Twenty participants are expected and all will be required to wear hard hats, France 24 reported.
The Archdiocese of Paris said the Mass will be broadcast live on French television.
While the restoration takes place, cathedral officials hope to erect a small Marian shrine in the cathedral’s front square where pilgrims could pray and evening services could be held, but French authorities have yet to grant permission to reopen the square to the public.
Motivated by the 2024 Summer Olympics being held in Paris, French President Emmanuel Macron has said he wants the cathedral restored in five years.
“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,” said Chauvet.