Emotional Notre-Dame cathedral Way of the Cross ceremony on Good Friday

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By Philip Pangalos
Emotional Notre-Dame cathedral Way of the Cross ceremony on Good Friday

Emotions were particularly intense during this year's Way of the Cross ceremony as religious rituals took place on Good Friday in the area surrounding Notre-Dame cathedral, just days after the beloved Parisian landmark was ravaged by a devastating fire.

The Way of the Cross refers to a series of images depicting Jesus on the day of his crucifixion and accompanying prayers.

The representation of Christ's passions attracted a particularly large number of faithful on the streets surrounding Notre-Dame on Île de la Cité in the river Seine.

With Holy Week coming to a close on Saturday and Easter approaching, those gathered expressed hope for the historic church's reconstruction.

Authorities were concerned about possible violence on Saturday as the ongoing 'yellow vest' protests are due to continue in Paris on the same day, with some protesters having expressed their displeasure about the billions of euros already pledged to help restore the fire-ravaged cathedral at a time when few appear to be bothered about the tens of thousands of homeless people.

"We will take all the necessary measures to avoid deviations and acts of violence. The instructions we have given to security forces are clear. Reaction, mobilisation, systematic dissolution and the arrest of violent persons," said Interior Minister Christophe Castaner.

Authorities will put into place a special plan for Easter demonstrations by the 'yellow vest' protesters. They will block off access to Notre-Dame and will take decisive action against anyone who attempts to beach the police cordons.

French President Emmanuel Macron has said that he wants to rebuild the cathedral within five years, though building experts have cast doubt on whether that ambitious plan is possible.