AST October 13th, the centenary of the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima was commemorated with numerous events, both at the apparition site and in communities around the globe. One of the more unique celebrations held on that day was the dedication of the cathedral church of Montréal, the Basilica of Mary, Queen of the World.
Construction began on the cathedral in 1870, and it was inaugurated in 1894, but it had never been formally consecrated.
Montréal is a lovely city filled with many beautiful churches. After the Oratory of St. Joseph on Mount Royal, Mary, Queen of the World is the second largest church in Québec. It is formally known, in French, as the Basilique Cathédrale Marie-Reine-du-Monde et Saint-Jacques-le-Majeur (its original patron had been Saint James). The architecture of Mary, Queen of the World is especially memorable, as it is a ¼-size replica of Saint Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City.
Dedications of churches, of course, are not everyday occasions. (Richard Clark wrote here about his experience last spring at the dedication of a church in Boston’s Seaport District.) Still less common, though, is the dedication of a cathedral basilica.
The joyful occasion of dedicating Mary, Queen of the World Cathedral was enhanced by three new major musical works by composer Henrique Coe. The pieces are:
Sub Altare Dei Sedes — Sung during the deposition of relics in the altar
Stetit Angelus — Sung during the incensation of the altar
Locus Iste — Sung as an offertory motet (alternatively, as the gradual)
IVE recordings (edited) of these pieces being sung at the dedication are available, courtesy of Salt and Light Television. Sub Altare Dei Sedes lasts until the 8:02 mark; Stetit Angelus runs from 8:03 to 16:21; and Locus Iste spans 16:22 to 19:34.
The music is sung by the Chœur Polyphonique de Montréal, together with a vocal quartet (Marie Magistry, soprano; Josée Lalonde, alto; Andrew Gray, tenor; Martin Auclair, bass).
Other musicians involved were:
Conductor: Louis Lavigueur
Organ: Hélène Dugal
Trumpet: Victor Wong Seen-Bage and Nicholas Gagnon
Music Coordinator: Alain Duguay
Another beautiful composition by Mr. Coe is entitled “The Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.” Scored for brass quintet, the piece premiered in Lisbon, Portugal late in 2017. Here is a recording of this instrumental piece: