We came to Reims for one reason: to see the cathedral. It’s difficult to overstate how impressive it is. As we approached the city on the autoroute, we could see the spires from miles away. On foot in the city center, it’s even more imposing.
A glance at the cathedral parish website showed Wednesday is the only day of the week the cathedral chapter prays Vespers. Since we arrived on a Wednesday, we decided to time our visit accordingly, arriving about a half-hour early to get pictures of the outside and walk around the inside for a while. It’s a massive place, and we weren’t sure which altar would be in use for Vespers. When the time arrived, we simply walked in the direction of the singing.
Mass was celebrated after Vespers, and we stayed for that too. The cathedral doors were closed to visitors around the same time Mass began, so when it ended, there were only a couple dozen of us remaining, with all but a few emergency lights turned off. As the altar had been at the opposite end of the cathedral from the exit, we were able to walk its entire length slowly in the dark.