Notre Dame Cathedral opens briefly for Good Friday ceremony
Amid a strict lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris rose from the ashes — albeit just briefly — Friday by opening to a tiny group of people for Easter.
Only seven people were allowed inside the fire-ravaged landmark to attend a Good Friday ceremony.
“This message of hope is especially important in these days where we are particularly affected by the coronavirus, which is sowing anguish, death and paralysis in our country and the world,” Paris Archbishop Michel Aupetit said in a video press conference this week, according to NPR.
The event was beamed live across the globe on BFM TV just days before the first anniversary of the April 15, 2019, inferno that gutted the beloved landmark in the City of Light.
The service — which included prayers, readings and music — on the day marking the crucifixion of Christ was open to just a select few because the Gothic cathedral remains closed to the public.
It revolved around the cathedral’s most important relic, the crown of thorns said to be worn by Jesus that survived the inferno.
French actors Philippe Torreton and Judith Chemla were scheduled to read texts by Mother Teresa and French poet Paul Claudel, and violinist Renaud Capuçon planned to perform, NPR reported.
Notre Dame’s restoration, which President Emmanuel Macron said would be completed by 2024, came to a halt ahead of the March 17 lockdown, according to Forbes.
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