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Sunday Mass at Cathedrale St. Pierre in Montpellier

One of the great things about visiting France is being able to attend Sunday Mass in an impressive, medieval stone cathedral like this one in Montpellier:

As luck would have it, this cathedral even had a bishop in it this morning. The retired bishop was present to celebrate an event for the young children of the parish, who processed to the altar holding little blue tea candles. Cuteness factor: higher than a basket of kittens.

We had wondered what kind of security to expect at the cathedral, since tensions continue to run high after the recent assassination of a French priest. We arrived early and didn’t notice any special security presence, but sure enough there were three heavily armed, badass soldiers standing guard outside as we left. I presume they were there during the entire Mass. I chose not to take any photos of them, since they didn’t look they had a sense of humor while on duty. One of them also gave us the stink-eye while we passed them, probably because we were speaking a language that wasn’t French.