Nearly two years after the fire, the one that shattered Paris’s Notre Dame Cathedral, the historical site held a small service for the Holy Week.
Reconstruction on the iconic church continues.
On Holy Thursday, Notre Dame held a small ritual that encompassed a foot-washing ritual. The service was held at the cathedral, which is still under construction plans.
By the COVID-19 restrictions and Notre Dame’s current state, only six selected people attended the ceremony. The small group, however, included medical staff, the needy and some who would be baptized on Easter Sunday.
It seems that Notre Dame will not be holding ornate ceremonies for religious holidays any time soon.
Following Good Friday ceremonies, Notre Dame Rector Patrick Chauvet told the press that the cathedral and its path could remain under construction for an additional 15 or 20 years. Patrick Chauvet said that he could guarantee that there’s still much work to do.
Patrick Chauvet’s statement is in deep contrast with what French President Emmanuel Macron said After the April 2019 fire. He believed that the reconstruction work on Notre Dame would be completed within five years and in time for Paris to host the 2024 Olympics. The date, however, was quickly dispelled by church authorities.
The fire spread toxic lead dust throughout the nearby area, meaning that it had to be clean before construction work could even start. Rebuilding the dome from the fire has been a lengthy process, already.
It took more than a year to agree upon what the construction process should entail. By November 2020 it was finally decided to remove charred scaffolding from the structure.
Parts near Notre Dame have been gradually reopening to the public as work progresses. The public plaza in front of the church reopened in June and the crypt beneath the cathedral reopened in September.
Notre Dame is currently operating from its temporary liturgical base at the nearby church of Saint-Germain l’Auxerrois. Even though Paris is waiting for the cathedral to be open again, a temporary, smaller chapel could be built on its grounds.