PARIS (ABC) — The bells of Notre Dame Cathedral were silent on Easter Sunday, for what is believed to be the first time in about 850 years.
Paris’ beloved church was central to the city’s Easter celebrations until now.
Just a short distance away, across the river, the church of St. Sulpice, Paris’s second largest, stood in for Notre Dame.
Nearby at another service, some of the firefighters who struggled for nine hours to contain the fire were honored, as the Archbishop of Paris vowed that Notre Dame “will rise up again”.
But for most of the masses, the city’s strong emotional connection to Notre Dame, transcending religion, was on full display as the church was serenaded by a spontaneous concert, playing hymns and the French national anthem.
Last week, President Macron pledged that Notre Dame’s restoration would be completed within five years. Opinion is split whether that’s possible, but with more than a billion dollars in donations there’s certainly the will to see it completed soon.