Une promenade musicale et religieuse à travers Paris

An Tampere - A musical and religious stroll through Paris - Ma Vie Francaise - My French Life - www.MyFrenchLife.org

This article is in French. Click here to read it in English.

Instead of staying in bed on a Sunday morning, if you exit to enjoy beautiful religious songs? Even if you are not a believer, nothing prevents you to attend religious services where you can discover French musical treasures. Gregorian chant to gospel through a multitude of Catholic choirs, there is something for everyone!

Paris is not only a haven for people of all backgrounds, but also warm as diverse as religious communities. Some of them make for a great musical moment. Follow the guide!

Discover Gregorian chants in the French Capital


Legend has it that it was Pope Gregory the Great who began using the Gregorian chants to animate Catholic masses. Fallen into disuse there a few years, they are now making a comeback. It is possible to listen to them more often in Catholic churches. A prime example is the Cathedral of Notre-Dame-de-Paris. This is one of the finest French monuments, including hosting the vocal ensemble of Notre-Dame de Paris  [1] , directed by Sylvain Dieudonné.

The choir, composed of singers professionals, invites you to discover every Sunday at 10am an infinite repertoire of Gregorian chants from the Middle Ages to today. Another place that is worth visiting the church of Saint-Germain l’Auxerrois. Masses Sunday evening at 19h are animated by a Gregorian choir consisting only of women. More interested in a choir of men? Then go to the side of the Crypt of Foreign Missions Sunday morning at 9:00!

Gospel in France

If you are not tempted by the Gregorian chants, maybe you like the gospel more. Originally created by African Americans, gospel now sings in the world in predominantly Protestant religious communities.


The lighthouse place to watch these songs is the Church of Bethel Pierrefitte-sur-Seine [2] . A real outlet for those who live in Paris for Mass begins at 10am, but you will not regret it!

If you are not ready to undertake the trip, make a detour by the American Church of Paris [3] . The community has its own gospel choir. Sometimes guests brand come join the choir, but unfortunately it is impossible to know the names in advance. You can choose between a Mass with a traditional musical accompaniment (9am and 11am) or contemporary (13h).

One last place to put on your list: Hillsong Church [4] . Do not be intimidated by the place, which is none other than the Bobino theater, and do not be late if you want to enjoy. Here, you will not be able to remember to sing in French or English at 10am or 12pm.

Other religious places lend an ear to Paris


Attend a Mass at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Montmartre [5] already allow you to enjoy the extraordinary beauty of this place, while discovering the choir nuns. Did you know also that you have the opportunity to spend a “night of worship” in the Basilica  ?

Finally, why not at least once in your life to attend an Orthodox service? Even without understanding the songs in Russian , you will have an unforgettable experience. Our address: the French Orthodox parish of Our Lady of the Afflicted Joy and Sainte Geneviève Sunday at 10:30 am! Remember that even if you are only there to enjoy the music, you attend religious services. So follow these places and its believers.

And you, have you ever attended a Mass in Paris?

References:[1] Vocal Ensemble of Notre Dame de Paris[2] Website of Bethel Church[3] Website of the American Church in Paris[4]  Website of Hillsong Church in Paris[5] Official site of the Basilica of the Sacre Coeur 
 Image credits:
1.  Night of Gospel Music by Tom Bloch on Wikipedia.
2.  Singers, Notre-Dame de Paris , about music-sacred-notredamedeparis.fr.
3. Gospel by Al Farese on Flickr.
4 . Basilique du Sacre Coeur , by blacktar on Flickr.

About the Contributor

An Tampere

Moving to Paris was realizing a dream, living in it a nightmare…at first! Nowadays, I love it all: the Eiffel Tower, Vélib and the Parisians! I also spent time in Belgium & Italy. Besides an interest in European Union politics & culture, I am passionate about ballet, history and languages.

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