Workers rebuild the Cathedral's spire Workers rebuild the Cathedral's spire  (AFP or licensors)

Paris Archbishop unveils celebrations for Notre Dame Cathedral reopening

Archbishop Laurent Ulrich of Paris presents several initiatives for the reopening of the Cathedral of Notre Dame on December 8, 2024, including an inaugural triduum and an octave of prayer.

By Delphine Allaire

Ten months before the reopening of the Cathedral of Notre Dame, Archbishop Laurent Ulrich presented the schedule for the inauguration of the French capital's Gothic masterpiece, scheduled for December 8, 2024.

The reopening period will include numerous celebrations and pilgrimages, and will extend from December 8, 2024, to June 8, 2025, the feast of Pentecost, as the universal Church follows the rhythm of the 2025 Jubilee.

The Archbishop of Paris announced the initiatives in a pastoral letter published on 2 February, inviting the faithful to celebrate the Cathedral’s re-inauguration after a fire gutted it on April 15, 2019.

Fifteen days before the church’s reopening, a large procession will accompany the return of the image of Notre Dame to the Cathedral along the streets of Paris.

Having escaped the flames, the image of the Virgin and Child, a sculptural masterpiece from the 14th century and 1.8 metres tall, has been housed at the Saint-Germain-l'Auxerrois church, facing the Louvre Palace.

Three days of official inauguration

The reopening itself will begin with a triduum that incorporates the official inauguration on the evening of December 7.

The event will include the handover of Notre-Dame from the state owner to the Catholic Church; the awakening of the organ; liturgical celebration with blessing; a Magnificat or a Te Deum, and then Vespers.

The consecration of the altar will take place during the first Mass in the restored Cathedral on Sunday, December 8, the second Sunday of Advent this year.

The next day will see the liturgical celebration of the Immaculate Conception on Monday, December 9.

Reopening Octave on December 8-15

The reopening of Notre-Dame will be graced with an octave on December 8-15, with a solemn celebration taking place each day with a particular theme.

Archbishop Ulrich highlighted the presence of several public figures, including representatives of the French State, donors, teams that have worked for five years, firefighters who saved the building on April 15, 2019, French bishops, foreign bishops, and representatives of French dioceses.

He also invited "the people of Paris" to take part in the reopening celebrations.

The Archbishop of Paris called for pilgrimages from the parishes in Paris and the dioceses of the province of Paris to be organized during the six months ranging from December to June.

"I propose and even insistently request that this feast, this festive period, be so for the entire Christian people, of all ages and conditions,” said Archbishop Ulrich. “Nothing is more beautiful than to see, in parishes or other Christian assemblies, a diverse people, the people of neighborhoods as they are, with children, young people, adults, and the elderly, healthy people and the sick, people with disabilities, foreigners. Nothing is more beautiful than to see Christian associations concerned with leaving no one behind, making room for the most precarious, the isolated, the forgotten: they will be at Notre-Dame.”

Archbishop Ulrich, who has been the Archbishop of Paris since April 2022, concluded his letter by expressing appreciation for the generosity of donors and patrons who contributed to the reconstruction of the Cathedral of Notre Dame.

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05 February 2024, 12:27