"It's a very special moment," said Gilchrist. "It's a massive opportunity for me and I just can't wait for Saturday."
The only other change to the starting XV sees Alasdair Strokosch brought in for Rob Harley at blinside flanker. Strokosch, who featured in the opening round defeat to Scotland, returns after injury.
"We have made some progress in this championship and it would be ideal to cement that by a winning performance in Paris," said coach Scott Johnson. "But the needle is stuck in the same groove as far as my view on Saturday's Test.
"We've got to get our basics right. We've got to win the contact area, be disciplined in our approach, and get some front-foot ball for our backs. We also want to end the championship on a high.
"I've been impressed with Gilco. I've spoken of form and future and he fits the bill in the latter category but he's also keen as mustard and we want to look at him in the company of a very good French side.
"We looked at every position in detail after last weekend and we reckoned that Strokosch's experience gave him the nod in the backrow.
"We're not reading much at all into where France are in the table. France are wounded right now and we expect them to come out all guns blazing on Saturday.
"But the target for us is to concentrate on our game and aim to be as high up the table as possible come full-time in Paris."
15 Stuart Hogg (Glasgow Warriors)
14 Sean Maitland (Glasgow Warriors)
13 Sean Lamont (Glasgow Warriors)
12 Matt Scott (Edinburgh Rugby)
11 Tim Visser (Edinburgh Rugby)
10 Duncan Weir (Glasgow Warriors)
9 Greg Laidlaw (Edinburgh Rugby)
1 Ryan Grant (Glasgow Warriors)
2 Ross Ford (Edinburgh Rugby)
3 Euan Murray (Worcester Warriors)
4 Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh Rugby)
5 Jim Hamilton (Gloucester Rugby)
6 Alasdair Strokosch (Perpignan)
7 Kelly Brown (Saracens) captain
Johnnie Beattie (Montpellier)
16 Dougie Hall (Glasgow Warriors)
17 Moray Low (Glasgow Warriors)
18 Geoff Cross (Edinburgh Rugby)
19 Alastair Kellock (Glasgow Warriors)
20 Ryan Wilson (Glasgow Warriors)
21 Henry Pyrgos (Glasgow Warriors)
22 Ruaridh Jackson (Glasgow Warriors)
23 Max Evans (Castres)