PARIS — Some kneeled, some folded their hands to make silent entreaties. Others sang with their eyes focused on the sky that had gone from blue to yellow and orange, and filled with acrid smoke. İn an impromptu act of togetherness and hope, Parisians and people just visiting France's charismatic capital came together to pray for Notre Dame as a fire quickly advanced through the cathedral.
The blaze that engulfed Notre Dame brought memories and sorrow to people around the world who had seen or dreamed of seeing the church known for its sculpted gargoyle guards and place in literary history. But emotions might have run highest in the crowd outside another Gothic church, not far from where Notre Dame burned.
İn front of the Saint-Julien-des-Pauvres church, a couple hundred people knelt in prayer in the middle of a larger group. More voices joined an unceasing communal hymn sung mostly a cappella, though accompanied at one point by two violins.
"The cathedral is more than walls. It's a symbol of Catholic France,'' said Paris resident Gaetane Schlienger, 18, who tried to climb a tree near the vigil. "But I have a lot of friends who are not Catholic, and for them it also has a huge impact.''
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