Parisians gather outside burning Notre Dame to sing hymns
Hours after a blaze engulfed the roof of the centuries-old Notre Dame Cathedral, distraught Parisians and stunned tourists lined the banks of the Seine River, gazing in disbelief. Christians sang liturgical songs such as Hail Mary and Ave Maria, as the inferno raged at the cathedral. Others knelt and prayed. Thousands of onlookers stopped at bridges over the Seine and along its embankments, held at a distance by a police cordon. Notre Dame sits on the Ile de la Cite, an island on the Seine River marking the very centre of Paris. The Paris prosecutor’s office said it had launched an inquiry into the fire. Several police sources said that they were working on the assumption for now that it was accidental.
“Stabat Mater”: communion song during Palm Sunday 2019, less than a day before the fire started.
A Twitter video of Parisians kneeling and singing the hymn ‘Ave Maria’ as the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral continues to burn in the twilight went viral Monday, and by early Tuesday morning, the video had been viewed millions of times. The blaze that began early in the evening took down the spire and collapsed the roof of the French landmark, but fire chiefs said the structure of the cathedral was saved. French President Emmanuel Macron vowed that Notre Dame would be rebuilt with the aid of the international community.
Locals gathered nearby the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris in the early hours on Tuesday, as fire fighters managed to bring the blaze that had burned the revered cathedral under control.
Thousands of Parisians watched as the Notre Dame cathedral burned. And spontaneously, many of them started to sing hymns.