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Easter services held in Paris in wake of Notre Dame Cathedral fire

PARIS – After a dramatic and difficult week in Paris without the beloved Notre Dame Cathedral, the message of Easter, and worship in general, meant more than usual for many.

Some said they had forgotten their faith.

"It sort of reminded you that, if I am Catholic, if I am Christian, even, let’s not take this for granted, let’s actually go and show respect," Dianne Ruengsorn said.

Churchgoers from around the world packed Saint-Eastache Cathedral, in part to hear the Notre Dame Choir and organist, for whom the fire was deeply personal.

"I kept on seeing images and images and I went there and I saw all my teachers and all the organ players crying," choir member Machilde Otscheidt said.

Otscheidt said she remembers the overwhelming feeling of sadness on Monday when the cathedral caught fire.

More importantly, she said she remembers the feeling that eventually replaced it.

"I was so relieved. Everything inside was not destroyed," Otscheidt said.

Choir organist Yyves Castagnet has called Notre Dame home for 30 years. After the service he could be seen embracing fellow members of the choir, but not because he was sad.

"It’s such a comfort for us after this tragedy," Castagnet said. "Thanks to God, music is our way to overcome, and that’s what saved us."


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