Dedication of the Montreal Cathedral

Three pieces for the Dedication of the Montreal Cathedral:
– Sub Altare Dei Sedes (full version): 0’10” – 8’02”
– Stetit Angelus (full version): 8’03” – 16’21”
– Locus Iste (short version): 16’22’ – 19’34”

Composer: Henrique Coe
Year of composition: 2017

Video: Télévision Sel et Lumière
[Audio edited]

Conductor: Louis Lavigueur
Choir: Chœur Polyphonique de Montréal
Vocal quartet: Marie Magistry (soprano), Josée Lalonde (alto), Andrew Gray (tenor), and Martin Auclair (bass)
Trumpets: Victor Wong Seen-Bage and Nicolas Gagnon
Organ: Hélène Dugal
Music coordinator: Alain Duguay

The Dedication of the Basilique Cathédrale Marie-Reine-du-Monde et Saint-Jacques-le-Majeur in Montreal was a historical event in Canada. After 147 years of the beginning of constructions (1870) and 123 years of its inauguration (1894), the Montreal Cathedral was consecrated on October 13, 2017, date of the 100th anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun in Fatima. The year of 2017 is also the 375th anniversary of the foundation of the city of Montreal, which was originally named Ville-Marie. The Montreal Cathedral is a 1/4-size replica of the St. Peter Basilica in the Vatican.

Why did it take so long to dedicate a so important Cathedral?
One of the possible explanations is that the original project has never been completely done, notwithstanding the outstanding beauty of the Cathedral. Previously, it has been put under the patronage of St Jacques and later on under the patronage of Mary, Queen of the World, but the rite of Dedication itself had not taken place. After 123 years, it was decided that the works should be considered complete and the Cathedral dedicated.

For the Dedication, I wrote three pieces: Sub Altare Dei Sedes, Stetit Angelus, and Locus Iste. The first two are antiphons and were taken from the 1977 Pontificale Romanum. The latter was sung as a motet and was taken from the 1974 Graduale and from the 1961 Liber Usualis.

For the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite, Sub Altare Dei Sedes is sung with Psalm 14 and Setit Angelus with Psalm 137 (full version). For the Extraordinary Form, only the antiphons are sung (short version). The Locus Iste is not followed by a psalm, but it also has a full and a short versions. Both may be sung as a motet, but if sung as a Gradual, the full version of the Locus Iste should be used.


Post by Fr. David Friel on Corpus Christi Watershed concerning the Dedication:


The three pieces:
1) Sub Altare Dei Sedes + Psalm 14 (for choir, vocal quartet, organ and 2 trumpets)
-> This piece is sung during the Deposition of the Relics.
-> Form: Intro + Ant. + Ps. part 1 + Ant. + Ps. part 2 + Ant. + Ps. part 3 + Ant. + coda.
-> All the 4 statements of the antiphon have the same text, but the 2 statements in the middle are shorter in length.
-> Duration: 6’30” (full version) / 5’30” (full version without introduction) / 1’10” (short version – only antiphon ant coda).

Sub altáre Dei sedes accepístis, Sancti Dei: intercédite pro nobis ad Dóminum Iesum Christum.

– Dómine, quis habitábit in tabernáculo tuo? quis requiéscet in monte sancto tuo?

(Antiphona: Sub altáre Dei sedes…)

– Qui ingréditur sine mácula, et operátur iustítiam, qui lóquitur veritátem in corde suo,
– qui non egit dolum in lingua sua, nec fecit próximo suo malum,
et oppróbrium íntulit próximo suo.

(Antiphona: Sub altáre Dei sedes…)

– Ad níhilum reputátus est in conspéctu eius malígnus, timéntes autem Dóminum gloríficat. Qui iurat in detriméntum suum et non mutat,
– qui pecúniam suam non dedit ad usúram, et múnera super innocéntem non accépit. Qui facit hæc, non movébitur in ætérnum.

(Antiphona: Sub altáre Dei sedes…)

Under the altar of God, O Saints of God, you have received your habitation; intercede for us before the Lord Jesus Christ.

– Lord, who shall dwell in thy tabernacle? or who shall rest in thy holy hill?

(Antiphona: Sub altáre Dei sedes…)

– He that walketh without blemish, and worketh justice: He that speaketh truth in his heart,
– who hath not used deceit in his tongue: Nor hath done evil to his neighbour: nor taken up a reproach against his neighbours.

(Antiphona: Sub altáre Dei sedes…)

– In his sight the malignant is brought to nothing: but he glorifieth them that fear the Lord. He that sweareth to his neighbour, and deceiveth not;
– he that hath not put out his money to usury, nor taken bribes against the innocent: He that doth these things shall not be moved for ever.

(Antiphona: Sub altáre Dei sedes…)


2) Stetit Angelus + Psalm 137, 1-6 (for choir)
-> This piece is sung during the Incensation of the Altar.
-> Form: Ant. + Ps. part 1 + Ant. + Ps. part 2 + Ant.
-> All the 3 statements of the antiphon have the same text, but the one in the middle is shorter in length.
-> In the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, the short version with the full antiphon may be sung as the Offertory of “In Dedicatione S. Michaelis Archangelis” (Sept 29)
-> Duration: 7’30” (full version) / 5 min (full version – only first part of the antiphon) / 2 min (short version – full antiphon) / 1’10” (short version – only first part of the antiphon).

(1) Stetit ángelus iuxta aram templi,
habens turíbulum áureum in manu sua;
(2) et dáta sunt ei incénsa multa
(3) Et ascéndit fumus arómatum in conspéctu Domini
de manu Angeli allelúia.

– Confitébor tíbi, Dómine, in tóto córde méo, quóniam audísti vérba óris méi.
– In conspéctu angelórum psállam tíbi,
adorábo ad témplum sánctum túum; et confitébor nómini túo.
– propter misericórdiam túam et veritátem túam, quóniam magnificásti super ómne nómen elóquium túum.(Antiphona: Stetit ángelus…)– In quacúmque die invocávero te, exáudi me; multiplicábis in ánima méa virtútem.
– Confitebúntur tíbi, Dómine, ómnes réges térrae, quia audiérunt elóquia óris túi.
– Et cántabunt vias Dómini, quóniam mágna est glória Dómini;
– quóniam excélsus Dóminus, et húmilem réspicit, et supérbum a longe cognóscit.(Antiphona: Stetit ángelus…)
(1) An Angel stood near the altar of the temple,
having a golden censer in his hand,
(2) and there was given to him much incense;
(3) and the smoke of the perfumes ascended before God. Alleluia.

– I will praise thee, O lord, with my whole heart: for thou hast heard the words of my mouth.
– I will sing praise to thee in the sight of his angels:
I will worship towards thy holy temple, and I will give glory to thy name.
– For thy mercy, and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy holy name above all.(Antiphona: Stetit ángelus…)– In what day soever I shall call upon thee, hear me: thou shall multiply strength in my soul.
– May all the kings of the earth give glory to thee: for they have heard all the words of thy mouth.
– And let them sing in the ways of the Lord: for great is the glory of the Lord.
– For the Lord is high, and looketh on the low: and the high he knoweth afar off.(Antiphona: Stetit ángelus…)

For the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, this antiphon may be divided into three antiphons, indicated with (1), (2), and (3), and the “et” before “data” and “ascendit” may be excluded.

3) Locus Iste (for choir and organ)
-> This piece is sung during the Offertory (as a motet) or as a Gradual.
-> The full version may be sung as a motet or as a Gradual; the short version only as a motet.
-> Duration: 4’10” (full version) / 2’40” (short version – without the verse).

Locus íste a Déo fáctus est,
inaestimábile sacraméntum,
irreprehensíbilis est.
Déus, cúi ádstat Angelórum chórus,
exáudi préces servórum tuórum.
This place was made by God,
a mystery above all value;
it is without reproof.
O God, on whom quires of Angels attend,
hear the prayers of thy servants.



For further research: it is not clear if the Gloria Patri should be sung or omitted before the last repetition of the antiphon within “Sub Altare Dei Sedes + Psalm 14” and within “Stetit Angelus + Psalm 137”, especially when comparing the 1977 Pontificale Romanum in Latin with the Pontificale Romanum in French. In the Dedication of the Montreal Cathedral, the Gloria Patri was omitted in both cases.