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Mass was celebrated at the Notre Dame Cathedral on Sunday for the first time in nearly two months after a devastating fire, all attending wearing hardhats.

In April the Notre Dame Cathedral was consumed by flames, burning the wooden roof and iconic spire to ash. Fortunately, the “main structure” was saved and preserved.

Since then, no Mass had been celebrated within the shuttered Notre Dame. Cathedral rector Bishop Patrick Chauvet, however, announced it’s first post-fire would be had on June 16th.

On Sunday, Mass was celebrated by Archbishop of Paris Michael Aupetit within the Notre Dame’s side chapel that formerly housed the Crown of Thorns which was unharmed in the fire. About 30 were in attendance: 6 or 7 priests, the archbishop, various canons, and restoration workers – all wearing a hardhat for safety.

“It was a moment of emotion. Many of the people who attended work in the cathedral. They were touched. It’s their house. For believers, it’s a moment of hope. The cathedral will be back. This cathedral is a place of worship, that’s its true and unique purpose. It’s important to remind people of that.”

Aupetit said “it was extraordinary to be able to celebrate again, even in this wounded cathedral. I was ordained bishop in this cathedral.” As for the hardhats? Aupetit said it was “a little weird” and that he took it off during the consecration because “come on.”

During the Notre Dame’s restoration, Aupetit hopes he can regularly celebrate Mass in the side chapel.

“As soon as I’m given the authorization again, I will go again, because I used to go all the time.”

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