Worshippers in safety hats attend Notre-Dame's first mass since fire

Notre Dame

It's been two months since a fire devastated Notre Dame cathedral in Paris.

The Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris scheduled its first mass for Saturday after the devastating fire that led to the collapse of its iconic spire.

The annual Dedication Mass commemorated the cathedral's consecration as a place of worship.

Worshippers will be expected to don hard hats but priests will be wearing their ceremonial garb.

Worshippers won't be authorized in the cathedral but can watch the Mass on a Catholic TV station that is broadcasting the service.

However, the French government said recently that less than ten percent of the 850 million euros pledged has been received so far.

While the billionaire donors delay signing their checks, the workers at the cathedral face the epic task of cleaning up the lead poisoning that has become an issue for the Parisian island on which Notre Dame is located.

The blaze caused the roof and spire of the architectural masterpiece to collapse, triggering multi-million-euro pledges for reconstruction work, after thousands wept outside the smoldering symbol of France.

French President Emmanuel Macron vowed that the Notre Dame would be rebuilt, saying "We will rebuild it".

If the authorities approve the plan, the idea is to celebrate the evening prayers on the parvis, the diocese said.

Protective nets have been strung above the nave and choir and rubble still strews the floor but the pews have remained intact.

The reality on the ground is that work has been continuing around the clock for weeks and, with no legal financial mechanism in place to pay the workers, the cathedral has been reliant on the charity foundation to fund the first phase of reconstruction.

France Info public radio said just 80 million euros had been handed over, with businessmen giving the money in tranches and some private individuals renouncing their pledges due to the apparent success of the campaign. The windows, which were originally created in the 13th century, have been replaced over the years for the structure's maintenance.

The cathedral is home to religious artefacts including the Crown of Thorns - the thorn-woven crown that was placed on Jesus's head during the incidents which ended in his crucifixion.

Samar Hodroj, a teacher from Florida, was taking pictures in front of the cathedral's bell towers with her two young children on Saturday just as the mass started. It formed the backdrop for Salman Khan's "London Dreams" and also featured in Ranveer Singh's "Befikre".

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