I already posted this at the Water Cooler, but have only gotten one answer, so I thought I’d try here. This questions covers a lot of things, so I wasn’t sure where it should go.
I’ll be arriving in Paris on Feb. 28th, the last day of the carnival season. I’ll be there one week. It’s my first trip to Europe and I am very excited.
My first full day will be Ash Wednesday.I realize France is mostly a secular nation, but does anything special happen in Paris to celebrate the end of the carnival season? Is there some sort of Mardi Gras thing that I should know about? It might help me know how to avoid traffic, etc.
Also, I’d like to go to an Ash Wednesday Mass at Notre-Dame. Are there any Catholic travelers out there who have attended masses in Paris, particularly travelers whose French isn’t all that great? Were you able to follow along all right? I’d like to attend Mass every day if I can, maybe at Notre-Dame or someplace else. I’ll be staying in the Latin Quarter.
My friends that I’m traveling with will be at a different hotel from me. Their hotel is across the street from the SSPX headquarters, St Nicolas du Chardonnet. What is Church policy regarding SSPX churches and masses? Is it okay to tour the inside of the church, attend a mass, take communion, or what? I do not want to commit any sin or give approval to schismatic behavior, but I hear the music and the Latin masses at St. Nicolas are beautiful. Please adivse.
I have also heard there are a lot of shops with religious antiques around St. Sulpice. Any recommendations, any shops you know of?
And what are the “don’t miss” churches you’d recommend?