For the First Time in 200 Years, Christmas Services Will Not Be Held at Notre-Dame
by Brigit Katz/Smithsonianmag.com
For more than two centuries, Christmas Masses have been held at the Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris. But this year, as repair work continues in the wake of the devastating fire that ripped through the landmark’s roof and toppled its iconic spire, there will be no holiday services at Notre-Dame.
Instead, reports Aurelien Breeden of the New York Times, the cathedral’s rector will hold Midnight Mass at Saint-Germain l’Auxerrois, a Gothic church located near the Louvre, where services have been conducted since the blaze. According to Thomas Adamson of the Associated Press, reminders of the fire-ravaged building will be there—among them a wooden liturgical platform that has been built to resemble the one in Notre-Dame and a 14th century statue, depicting the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus, that survived the flames. Notre-Dame’s choir will perform on Christmas Eve.
“We have the opportunity to celebrate the Mass outside the walls, so to speak… but with some indicators that Notre Dame is connected to us,” rector Patrick Chauvet tells Adamson.
Historical records indicate that Christmas masses have been held annually at Notre-Dame since at least 1803, after the building was returned to the Roman Catholic Church in the wake of the French Revolution, …...Read More: