Fire-ravaged Notre Dame cathedral holds Holy Thursday service

by 24USATVApril 2, 2021, 1 a.m. 26
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Notre Dame rector Patrick Chauvet, second right, stands as part of the Maundy Thursday ceremony, while cellist Marina Chiche, left, performs in Notre Dame Cathedral, Thursday, April 1, 2021, almost two years after a massive fire ravaged the Gothic cathedral. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena, Pool)

PARIS (AP) — A Holy Thursday service in Paris was held at Notre Dame cathedral, which is still under construction after it was ravaged by flames just days before Easter in 2019, its spire crumbling in a shocking blaze.

The ceremony involved a foot-washing ritual that symbolizes Jesus’ willingness to serve. Six worshipers were chosen for the foot washing, a diverse group including medical staff, the needy and some people who are set to be baptized this Easter.

Attendance at the service was sharply restricted due to the cathedral’s reconstruction and the pandemic.

An April 2019 fire consumed the cathedral’s lead roof and destroyed its spire, and only in December 2020 did workers finally stabilize the site enough to begin rebuilding.

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