Notre Dame holds 1st mass since devastating fire


Scaffolding covers the Notre Dame Cathedral after a fire ripped through the historic building.

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PARIS — The archbishop of Paris held Mass in the Notre Dame Cathedral Saturday, the first since a fire engulfed the historical landmark two months ago.

The fire destroyed much of its roof and vaulted ceiling, and the building is still in danger of a partial collapse. Because of the safety concerns, the Mass was offered to a group of around 30 people wearing hard hats, according to the New York Times. Those attending were mainly priests or canons.

The Mass took place in a chapel inside the cathedral and was broadcast live by a Catholic television station. Saturday’s mass also celebrated the anniversary of the consecration of the cathedral’s altar, which typically takes place on June 16.

French authorities are still investigating the cause of that April 15 fire. The fire destroyed the cathedral’s roof, toppling its spire. Workers are trying to stabilize the three facades that were attached to the roof. Work to secure the structure is not expected to be completed for at least another three months.

Authorities are still cleaning the area around the cathedral, including the square in front. Health and safety guidelines have been issued for pregnant women and children who go around the area.  And environmentalists have warned of the pollution caused by the fallout of hundreds of tons of lead melting due to the fire.

It has not been decided if the cathedral’s spire will be rebuilt as before, or if modern flourishes will be added, the New York Times reports.

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