On April 15th, 2019, people around the world watched in aghast as the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris burnt in flames. The exact cause of the fire still remains a mystery to this day, yet the damage it has suffered was much clearer.
Most notably, no Christmas services were held last year. It was the first time since the French Revolution when there were no services held at Notre Dame.
In the immediate aftermaths of the great fire, people from all around the globe sent their best regards in support of the Parisians and the French. Most widespread was a Facebook movement where users overlaid the French flag on their profile pictures.
With a global pandemic disturbing people’s everyday lives, the archbishop of Paris has found his way of repaying the warmth that many have shown. He has decided to stream a Good Friday ceremony in the still damaged cathedral.
In a video conference last Tuesday, archbishop Michel Aupetit emphasized the importance of hope during hard times like these. France, along with Italy, are among the countries that been hit the hardest by the novel coronavirus.
He mentioned that the pandemic was “sowing anguish, death and paralysis in our country and the world”, which ironically emphasizes the importance of positivity and hope within everyone.
The restoration efforts are still far from complete. Not long after the fire, French President Emmanuel Macron had stated that the cathedral would be reopened to the public in 2024 with further restoration works for another 15 years or so.
As of today, there are wooden beams installed to support the structure. Not all of the severely damaged roof over the nave have been restored. However, the most important thing is that the Notre Dame is still standing.
Just seven people are expected to partake in the ceremony. The centerpiece will be the supposed crown of thorns that Jesus wore during his crucifixion. Considered the most important relic of the cathedral, the crown has survived amidst the fire.
Two actors will be reciting scripture and poems, accompanied by a French violinist. It is expected to be broadcasted and streamed at 11:30 am Paris time.
Regardless of one’s religion, the sight of a damaged yet resilient Notre Dame will hopefully inspire hope in all of us. Share with us your thoughts in the comments, and be sure to follow us on Facebook for more news like this one.