Spiritual, living cathedral

Prayer and meditation at Notre-Dame

Praying with the Virgin Mary is asking her to “Pray for us poor sinners,” which means living with great hope, wrote Cardinal Lustiger. Hope for our church, worldwide, in France, in Paris; that the baptised, brothers and sisters in Christ, can forgive each other for their transgressions; that they will love each other because they are loved by God. Mary and the Church make them sure of it. Hope that we must speak to everyone about, as they are discouraged and refuse all hope. Through our prayer, we want to open our treasure up to everyone. Let us share that by praying with Mary on God’s will. Let us repeat with her, as she said of Jesus at the Wedding of Cana: “Do what he tells you.”

This is how the great gothic nave at Notre-Dame de Paris, planted on the banks of the Seine for the past eight centuries, was built on prayer. Cardinal Lustiger wrote that this building, which lives through the faith and prayer of its believers, is steeped in human and Christian experience. The prayers rise endlessly heavenward, with four daily masses, six Sunday masses, Lauds and Vespers services, the prayer requests of pilgrims, visitors, and users of this website. The living stones – built by the believers and their prayers – give the cathedral its true reason of being.

Cardinal Feltin, archbishop of Paris from 1949 to 1966, wrote that the lines of the arches and the spire convey the movement of prayer, through which the soul raises itself upward to God, who is the Spirit and Love. All is prayer in this great Christian site.

The texts below convey the cathedral’s centuries-old devotion to Mary. The Hail Mary was composed in the cathedral, the Vow of Louis XIII is sung every 15 August and conveys devotion to the Virgin, and the texts written by Claudel, Péguy and Cardinal Richard testify to particular fervour for Notre-Dame de Paris.

On this site, you can read the main prayers to the Virgin, which rhythm the cathedral’s daily life, for example:
- the Angelus, which is sung every morning in the choir to open the day of prayer;
- the Magnificat which is sung every day during the Vespers service;
- the four Marian Antiphonies (Salve Regina, Regina Cæli, Alma Redemptoris Mater, Ave Regina Cælorum) which conclude the cathedral’s day of prayer every day of the year at the foot of the statue of Notre-Dame, sending her the prayers of pilgrims, visitors, and users of this site.

To send a prayer request, fill in the prayer request form. Your request will be added to those the thousands of daily visitors write each day in the prayer books at the foot of the statue of Notre-Dame de Paris, which are read every evening after the last mass, to the Virgin Mary.

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