The first mass was held at the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris today since the centuries-old church was ravaged by fire in April. Priests wearing hard hats led the service in the Chapel of the Virgin, along with a small number of worshipers, construction workers, and members of the media, also in protective headgear.
For safety reasons, the group was limited to about 30 people.
The mass was held the day before Notre Dame’s yearly consecration of its altar, the feast of the Dedication of Our Lady. KTO, the French-language Catholic television channel, broadcast the ceremony live on YouTube:
Investigators believe an electrical short-circuit in the cathedral’s spire caused the fire. French culture minister Franck Riester said the cathedral remains “in a fragile state,” and said the main vault is still in danger of collapsing.
Roughly $950 million has so far been pledged by donors for the building’s reconstruction. To date, only about 9% of those funds have been received.