Pope Francis expressed his condolences to the family of Cardinal Domenico Bartolucci, the former director of the Sistine Chapel Choir, who passed away today at the age of 96. The Italian prelate was created a Cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI during the consistory held on November 20th, 2010.
“I recall affectionately this dear and highly esteemed priest, an illustrious composer and musician, who exercised his long and intense ministry, especially through religious music, born of and expressing faith,” he wrote.
Regarding Cardinal Bartolucci’s work as director of the Sistine Chapel Choir, the Holy Father, noted the prelate’s “precious gift of polyphony” or creating music with two independent melodic parts sounded together. Such a gift, he said, “intended to elevate the heart in praise of God.
“I raise fervent prayers to the Lord that, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, He may welcome his generous servant and distinguished man of the Church in spiritual joy and eternal peace, and impart the comfort of an apostolic blessing to those who mourn his loss,” the Pope wrote.
According to a communique from the Holy See, Cardinal Bartolucci’s funeral will be held on the afternoon of November 13th in St. Peter’s Basilica. Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals will preside. Pope Francis will administer the rites of “Ultima Commendatio” (Final Commendation) and “Valedictio” (Valediction, or final farewell).
The cardinal’s death brings the total of the College of Cardinals to 200 of which 109 are electors.