Notre Dame will not host Christmas Mass for first time since Napoleonic era

Access to the comments Comments
By Lauren Chadwick
Notre Dame will not host Christmas Mass for first time since Napoleonic era
Copyright  AP Photo/Michel Euler

Paris' Notre Dame cathedral will not host Christmas Mass for the first time in over 200 years after a devastating fire in April destroyed the spire and frame of the celebrated cathedral.

Notre Dame has hosted Mass every year since the time of Napoleon. The 855-year-old monument even hosted mass during World War II, Notre Dame's high priest Monseigneur Patrick Chauvet said.

The cathedral's spire and frame were destroyed in a fire on April 15, 2019, as horrified onlookers watched firefighters fight to prevent the flames from destroying the entire edifice and bell towers.

"As rector, I feel injured, naturally. There is a deep sadness." Chauvet told RTL radio. "But Christmas is not the holiday of sadness. It's the holiday of hope."

He said that around €900 million had been promised in donations that they continue to receive. The Île-de-France region recently gave €10 million to the restoration of the cathedral.

Henri Chalet, the head of the choir of Notre-Dame de Paris told BFM-TV: "The cathedral is sick. She'll be sick for five to six years, that's nothing out of 850 years."

The parish will instead have Mass at a church across from the Louvre, Saint-Germain-l'Auxerrois.

In June, the archbishop of Paris Michel Aupetit gave Mass at Notre Dame for the first time since the April fire, but most do not expect that there will be another Mass anytime soon.

Watch the report in the video player above.