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Priests in hard hats celebrate the first mass at Notre Dame since the devastating fire

Karine Perret/Pool via REUTERS
Signs of life, two months later.
By Justin Rohrlich
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

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.

Karine Perret/Pool via REUTERS
The archbishop of Paris, Michel Aupetit, leads the first mass two months to the day after the devastating fire that destroyed so much of the cathedral.
Karine Perret/Pool via REUTERS
Priests in protective headgear celebrate Saturday’s mass.
Karine Perret/Pool via REUTERS
Aupetit with fellow clergymen at the service.
REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
Notre Dame rector Patrick Chauvet leaves the cathedral following the service.

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.

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