The traditional Christmas services at the Notre Dame cathedral cancelled this year. It is for the first time since the French revolution. Even during two wars and Nazi occupation, Catholic Mass in December were available for Paris residents. As Huffpost reports, the cathedral was too deeply damaged by this year’s fire.
Notre Dame Cathedral requires renovations, that is why the Masses were relocated this year. Since the 1790s, the world-famous cathedral Christmas services for the first time will take place in another Gothic church, next to the Louvre Museum.
Notre Dame’s rector, Monsignor Patrick Chauvet, will celebrate Mass there Wednesday for Notre Dame’s faithful, accompanied by a song from some of Notre Dame’s now-itinerant choir.
For Parisiens, it is important that Notre Dame’s iconic 14th-century sculpture “The Virgin of Paris” survived the fire. Now, it is also on display during Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services. The masses will be held in the Saint-Germain l’Auxerrois church, once used for French royals.
The French cathedral kept going during two world wars, and Nazi occupation. Unfortunately, the blaze has destroyed the roof of the temple in April.
Today, Notre Dame’s twin towers still look over the Ile de la Cite island at the heart of Paris, attracting tourists taking selfies along the surrounding quays. But this Chrismas, its facade is shielded by scaffolding instead of the huge holiday tree that normally graces its esplanade.