At Easter mass, Parisians pray for Notre-Dame's swift restoration


  • World
  • Sunday, 21 Apr 2019

People attend Easter Sunday Mass at Saint-Eustache, days after a massive fire devastated large parts of the structure of the gothic Notre-Dame Cathedral, in Paris, France, April 21, 2019. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

PARIS (Reuters) - With no cathedral to go to, hundreds of Parisians gathered for Easter Sunday mass at the smaller Saint-Eustache catholic church on the city's right bank, and prayed for the swift restoration of Notre-Dame after its devastating fire.

The archbishop of Paris, Michel Aupetit, began the service by drawing a parallel between the planned reconstruction of Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral and the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, celebrated every year by Christians at Easter.

"We will rise up again and our cathedral will rise up again," he told the congregation, which included the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, and the head of the Paris fire service, General Jean-Claude Gallet.

The mass had originally been scheduled to be held at Notre-Dame, whose spire was destroyed and its roof gutted in Monday's blaze as rescuers put their lives at risk to salvage the rest of the centuries-old cathedral and its priceless artefacts.

Half way through the mass, Gallet received a minute's applause from the congregation in tribute to the 400 firefighters who extinguished the blaze, and was then handed a bible that survived the fire.

"We wish to reunite with the faithful, to pray together, hoping that Notre-Dame of Paris is revived as quickly as possible," said Annie le Bourvellec, a charity worker, as hundreds of worshippers queued outside Saint-Eustache, one of Paris's biggest churches, ahead of the mass.

Kimon Yiasemiees, a construction litigation expert from Washington D.C., expressed a similar sentiment.

"It is a tragedy, but in any tragedy, you have to look for a hope of renewal," he said. "And it just shows me that, not only the French people, but people around the world are really in tune to Notre-Dame and to Paris..."

President Emmanuel Macron pledged this week that France would rebuild the cathedral in five years and that the French people would pull together to repair their national symbol.

The destruction of one of the France's best-loved and visited monuments prompted an outpouring of sorrow and a rush by rich families and corporations to pledge around 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) for its reconstruction.

($1 = 0.8891 euros)

(Reporting by Michaela Cabrera and Noemie Olive; Additional reporting and writing by Mathieu Rosemain; Editing by Susan Fenton)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
   

Next In World

Chile-Bolivia train route being re-established after 16 years
Putin to review Russian military might as tensions with West soar
U.S. 5th Fleet seizes weapons shipment from stateless dhow in Arabian Sea
Labour's Sadiq Khan re-elected London mayor
French pilot says he was tied to firing target in hazing ritual
Explainer-Can Scotland hold another independence referendum?
Iran's Rouhani upbeat on accord at talks to lift sanctions
Gunmen kill seven Nigerian police officers in oil state attacks
Ireland removes Italy, Austria from hotel quarantine list
Scottish result 'significant' for Irish unity drive, says Sinn Fein leader

Stories You'll Enjoy


Vouchers