René Angélil Funeral

January 23, 2016 by staff 

René Angélil Funeral, Famed Quebec songstress Céline Dion, shadowed behind a thin black veil, clutched the hands of her twin sons tightly as she made her way slowly toward her husband’s casket this afternoon at Montreal’s historic Notre-Dame Basilica.

Visibly pained, Dion carefully placed deep purple calla lilies on a pillow resting on the dark casket of René Angélil, her former manager and husband of 21 years, before taking a seat for the Catholic service.

Music industry personalities, celebrities, politicians and fans gathered at the church in Old Montreal to bid farewell to the man whom many credit with transforming the francophone chanteuse into an international superstar.

Dion and the couple’s three children, along with Angélil’s adult sons, entered the church at 3:20 p.m. as a recording of Dion’s song Trois heures vingt played through the sound system.

The couple’s eldest child, René-Charles, escorted Dion’s elderly mother.

Angélil wanted his funeral mass to take place in the same church where the pair married in December 1994, according to a note posted by the singer on Facebook.

In a eulogy, René-Charles, who turns 15 next week, said he was “lucky to be born in a family where there was a lot of love.”

“Fifteen years is not a long time for a son to get to know his father,” he said.

“You’re a tough act to follow, but with your help, everything is going to be fine. I promise you that we are going to live up to your standards. Je t’aime, pa.”

Christian Lépine, archbishop of Montreal, presided over the service. Ibrahim M. Ibrahim, eparch of the Greek Melkite Catholic Church in Canada, celebrated the mass, along with Rev. Miguel Castellanos, a member of the pastoral team at the basilica.

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