Locus Iste

Composer: Henrique Coe
Year of composition: 2017

Video: Télévision Sel et Lumière
[Audio edited]

Vocal quartet: Marie Magistry (soprano), Josée Lalonde (alto), Andrew Gray (tenor), and Martin Auclair (bass)
Organ: Hélène Dugal
Music coordinator: Alain Duguay


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.

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 SedesStetit 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.


FULL VERSION (may be sung as a Gradual)

Concert: October 17, 2017
Walter Hall (Faculty of Music of the University of Toronto)
[Audio/video edited]

– Sopranos: Sierra Ward-Bond and Alexandra Carroll
– Alto/countertenor: Alexandra Hetherington and Ian Sabourin
– Tenors: Arieh Sacke and Kevin Mulligan
– Baritones: Kai Leung and Victor Cheng
Organ: Samuel Tam
Conductor: Henrique Coe