Notre Dame will not be hosting Christmas Mass due to the massive fire there earlier this year.
“This is the first time since the French Revolution that there will be no midnight Mass (at Notre Dame),” cathedral rector Patrick Chauvet told The Associated Press. The cathedral closed for Christmas in the period after 1789, according to Chauvet, due to anti-Catholic French revolutionaries.
However, a service is planned at the congregation’s temporary home near the Louvre in place of the traditional midnight Mass on Dec. 24. Notre Dame’s choir will perform, and Chauvet plans to lead a service.
“We have the opportunity to celebrate the Mass outside the walls, so to speak … but with some indicators that Notre Dame is connected to us,” Chauvet told the AP.
The fire on April 15 destroyed the cathedral’s lead roof and spire. Although many relics were saved, such as the Crown of Thorns, other historical items require extensive renovation, such as the cathedral’s great organ.
The cathedral hosted a small mass, the first since the fire, in July and the cathedral’s facade has been lit at night since November, according to the AP. Construction efforts are ongoing.