Paris' famed Notre Dame Cathedral hosted thousands of people Sunday night for a memorial service honoring at least 129 people killed by bombs and gunfire in terrorist attacks carried out in and around the city by the Islamic State group Friday. While many mourners crowded into the square outside the historic cathedral, clerics inside offered prayers and served communion while a choir dressed in colorful robes sang hymns.
"Our meeting this evening is primarily intended to share the pain of the victims' relatives, friends, to pray for them, for our city and our country," Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Paris, said during the Mass, according to Le Figaro. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, France's former Prime Ministers Francois Fillon and Alain Juppe, and the country's former President Valery Giscard d'Estaing were spotted in the front row during the service at the cathedral.
As was the case with most landmarks in the French capital this weekend, the cathedral had been closed to visitors in line with a three-day period of mourning designated by President Francois Hollande. However, people waited in lines for several hours Sunday to attend the memorial service at Notre Dame. The Diocese of Paris counted 1,500 people inside the cathedral, with hundreds more crowded into the square outside, Le Figaro reported.
Also Sunday, a “prayer and contemplation” ceremony was conducted at the Grande Synagogue de la Victoire, Paris' main synagogue. Leaders of a union of Jewish communities in France officiated at the service, the Times of Israel reported.
Hollande did not attend the memorial services, but he was expected to participate in a long moment of silence with the leaders of the 28-member European Union Monday, the Associated Press reported. The EU leaders were due to gather at the Sorbonne, the facility that houses several academic institutions in Paris.
People continued to light candles and lay flowers down at impromptu memorials throughout Paris Sunday. Authorities said that in addition to those killed by the three teams of Islamic State group terrorists Friday, 352 people were wounded, almost one-third of them critically.
Suicide bombers and gunmen carried out attacks at six locations, including the Bataclan, a concert hall in central Paris, a soccer stadium and a popular restaurant.
After the attacks, police asked people to keep off the streets, but many of them did go out over the weekend, even though many businesses were closed Sunday, the Huffington Post reported.
People who ventured out talked about the attacks, said Mark Barnett, an American visiting Paris. "I've heard a lot of people talking about [the attacks], not a lot of anger ... much less hysterical reaction than I've seen on the American [Internet]," Barnett told the Huffington Post. "By and large, I think people were just living normally today."