The Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris hosted its first concert on Saturday since the devastating fire that damaged the building nearly 18 months ago.
The concert, which was recorded, featured 20 singers, a soprano soloist, a violinist and a rented organ. The performance is slated to be broadcast on Christmas Eve, The Associated Press reported.
Performers were standing socially distanced during the performance to adhere to France's required indoor COVID-19 safety precautions.
In a statement to the AP, the diocese called the performance a “highly symbolic concert" that was "marked with emotion and hope,” and a celebration of a “musical heritage that dates to the Middle Ages."
Notre Dame typically puts on 60 concerts throughout the year, though the church has withheld from its normal schedule since the fire in April 2019.
The disastrous fire consumed the cathedral's roof and destroyed its spire. It also damaged the church's 8,000-pipe organ, which will be undergoing cleaning for the next four years but is projected to be functional again one day, ABC reported in August.
Earlier this month, the church was stabilized and workers were able to begin some building repairs.