Notre Dame Cathedral will not hold a Christmas midnight Mass this year for the first time in more than two centuries. In the cathedral, which was severely damaged in a massive fire in April this year, Christmas Masses were held during both World Wars.
“This is the first time since the French Revolution that there will be no midnight Mass,” said the pastor of the Cathedral, Patrick Chauvet. He added that there was a Christmas service even during World War I “because the canons were there, and the canons had to celebrate somewhere.”
According to Chauvet, Notre Dame was closed for Christmas only once after the French Revolution, when “the revolutionaries turned the monument into ‘a temple of reason.”
Due to the restoration that will take place, masses are held at the Church of Saint-Germain l’Auxerrois, where some relics were temporarily relocated from Notre Dame Cathedral.
The 885-year-old Notre Dame is one of the symbols of Christianity, but also the cultural good of all humankind, visited by millions of people every year.