07/25/2013 12:06 EDT | Updated 09/24/2013 05:12 EDT

Lac-Mégantic priest says mass will let community pause

A commemorative mass set for this weekend in Lac-Mégantic will allow the devastated Quebec community to stop and reflect together for the first time since the July 6 tragedy.

"It's the first time that we will take together, to pause," Father Steve Lemay said on Thursday.

The service will be held at the St-Agnès church at 11 a.m. for the victims of the Lac-Mégantic train derailment.

The church is only 100 metres away from the site where dozens of freight cars exploded, killing as many as 47 people.

Lemay said every day when he and members of his parish look outside, they are reminded of the tragedy.

As he spoke to media, Lemay took a moment to reflect on the meaning behind the tragedy.

He said when a local journalist recently asked him to make sense of the tragedy, he could not come up with an answer.

“There is no way to make sense of an incident with so much suffering,” Lemay said.

However, he said he has taken a lesson from the strength of the community and its ability to pull together and support one another despite their grief.

“These acts showed me that death can do nothing against love,” he said.

The St-Agnès church can hold up to 1,000 people, and about 700 seats will be reserved for those who have lost loved ones.

There will also be two screens set up outside so that people can watch the service if the church is full.