Paris’ Cathedral of Notre to broadcast crown of thorns veneration on Good Friday

By Courtney Mares

CNA—Paris—One year after the world watched the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris burn, the Archbishop of Paris will display the relic of Christ’s crown of thorns for veneration during a Good Friday broadcast.

“When Mary is at the foot of the cross, she knows that from the most absolute evil God can always draw a much greater one,” Archbishop Michel Aupetit of Paris said in an online press conference on April 7.

“I do not see any meaning in the cathedral fire or the COVID-19 epidemic. On the other hand, I know that God can bring much greater out of the misfortune that strikes us,” he said.

The Good Friday meditation before the crown of thorns will be broadcast live from inside the Notre-Dame Cathedral from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. local time (Paris) on Friday, April 9, 2020, just days before the first anniversary of the devastating fire.

Memorable Good Friday and Holy Thursday blessing planned

Archbishop Aupetit will lead a meditation on the Passion of Christ inside the cathedral in the apse behind Notre-Dame’s Pietà. He will be joined by Msgr. Patrick Chauvet, rector of Notre-Dame and Auxiliary Bishop Denis Jachiet.

French actors Philippe Torreton and Judith Chemla will read texts by Charles Péguy, Paul Claudel, and St. Teresa of Calcutta, while violinist Renaud Capuçon will provide musical accompaniment.

The archbishop said at the press conference that he had originally planned to have a street procession with the relic in Paris, but this was no longer possible due to the strict coronavirus measures in France.

On Holy Thursday, Aupetit will bless the city of Paris with the Blessed Sacrament at noon from the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on Montmartre, which overlooks the city.

Under coronavirus quarantine, a priest in Paris blessed his neighbors with a rooftop benediction last week.

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