Praise the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens. Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre!

Psalm 150


The Klais organ Opus 1010

In 1661 Abbot Richard Paschasius had an organ loft built, wich was to play an important part, especially in the musical embellishment of solemn services. An organ ist testified for the 16th c. There were new acquisitions in 1605, about 1700, and in 1901 (Klais-Organ Opus 138).

The actual organ was built by Johannes Klais of Bonn (D) in 1952/53 (Opus 1010), and thoroughly overhauled in 1991. More than 6000 pipes can be sounded from the four manuals.

I Positiv C–c4 (schwellbar)

Lieblich Gedackt 8’
Quintadena 8’
Salicional 8’
Principal 4’
Blockflöte 4’
Octave 2’
Sifflöte 1’
Scharff VI
Septimcymbel III
Krummhorn 8’
Vox humana 8’

II Hauptwerk C–c4

Principal 16’
Bordun 16’
Octave 8’
Holzgedackt 8’
Gemshorn 8’
Gamba 8’
Quinte 5  1⁄3′
Octave 4’
Rohrflöte 4’
Hohlflöte 2’
Rauschpfeife II
Mixtur VI-VIII
Scharff IV-V
Cornett V 8′ (1991)
Trompete 16’
Trompete 8’

III Oberwerk C–c4

Principal 8’
Rohrflöte 8’
Gedacktpommer 8’
Octave 4’
Quintadena 4’
Superoctave 2’
Waldflöte 2’
Gemsquinte 1  1⁄3′
Sesquialtera II 2  2⁄3′
Mixtur V-VI
Cymbel III
Dulcian 16’
Schalmey 8’
Kopftrompete 4’

IV Schwellwerk C–c4

Quintadena 16’
Principal 8’
Spitzgambe 8’
Vox coelestis 8’ (1991)
Grobgedackt 8’
Octave 4’
Violflöte 4’
Nasat 2  2⁄3′
Flachflöte 2’
Terz 1  3⁄5′
Mixtur IV-VI
Fagott 16’
Trompete 8’
Clairon 4’

Pedal C–g1

Untersatz 32’
Principalbass 16’
Subbass 16’
Zartbass 16’ (Tr IV)
Quintbass 10  2⁄3′
Octavbass 8’
Gedacktbass 8’
Choralbass 4’
Bassflöte 4’
Nachthorn 2’
Hintersatz IV
Cornett V 8′
Contrafagott 32’ (1991)
Posaune 16’
Fagott 16’ (Tr IV)
Trompete 8’
Clarine 4’

Trompeteria C–c4 (1991)

Trompeta magna 16’
Trompeta de batalla 8’
Bajoncillo 4’-8’

Organ positive in the choir

Orgelbau Hugo Mayer 2017

The chest organ is equipped with 6 registers divided into bass and treble (h°/c1). Furthermore there is a transposing device +/- 1 HT. The later installation of an additional electric actuation (double tracker action) is planned.

Manual C-g³

Gedackt 8′ (B/D)
Rohrflöte 4′ (B/D)
Nazard 2 2/3′ (D)
Doublette 2′ (B/D)
Terz 1 3/5′ (D)
Larigot 1 1/3′ (B/D)

Organ positive in the crypt

Organ manufactury Luxemburg (Andreas Westenfelder) 2004

Manual C-g³

Gedackt 8′
Rohrflöte 4′
Hohlflöte 2′


Jos Majerus

Basilica organist

Since 2018 Jos Majerus has been the titular organist and musical coordinator of the Basilica.

1995: At the age of seven, beginning of his musical education at the music school of Diekirch (conservatoire du Nord), in the organ class of Maurice Clement.
2010: Superior prize organ; second prize piano; first prize in chamber music; first honours in harmony theory. Bachelor in church music at Lucerne (CH) College of Music, with the organ as main subject, with Elisabeth Zawadke and Johannes Strobl; singing with Michael Pavlu and choral conducting with Pascal Mayer. Study of the organ with Elisabeth Zawadke and Kay Johannsen, consolidation of 17th and 18th century music. Harpsichord and basso continuo studies with Bettina Seeliger.

International Bach Organ Academy with Michael Radulescu at the monastery of Muri (CH). Workshop on organ improvisation in the baroque style with Rudolf Lutz. Workshop with organ works by J.S. Bach with Ton Koopman in Lucerne.

2015: Graduation – instrumental master performance (Konzertdiplom) with honours with the organ as main subject.

Finalist in the international organ competition of Dudelange (L). 3rd priz ex-aequo at the International Mendelssohn Organ Competition of Aarau (CH).
2016: Masterclass in Basel with Ben van Oosten.
Master studies course in specialized performance – soloist at the Musik-Akademie Basel. Organ forum at Schola Cantorum Basiliensis with Martin Sander and Jörg-Andreas Bötticher.
2017: International master class in Basel with Olivier Latry; master class at the Ludgeri church of Norden (East Frisia) with Harald Vogel.

2018: 2nd graduation: master in specialized performance – soloist at the Musik-Akademie Basel. Organ as main subject with Martin Sander.

Basilica Organists since 1900

Max Menager1899-1944 (1874-1963 + Echternach)
Pierre Nimax1949-1952 (1930-2021)
Camille Rodenbour 1953-1958 (1929-2003)
Marcel Weber1959-1986 (1930-1986 + Echternach)
Jean-Marie Kieffer1986-2014 (1960-2023 + Echternach)
Paul Kayser 2014-2018 (*1979)
Jos Majerus2018 (*1988)

Max Menager (1874-1963 +Echternach)
Titular organist of the Basilica from 1899-1944.
He studied music in Cologne and Paris, where he was a pupil of Charles-Marie Widor.


Basilica choir 2022

Basilica choir 2019

The Basilica Choir is conducted by Marc Juncker


Since 1854 the Basilica-Choir, respectively its predecessor, the ‘Chorale Ste-Cécile’, has been in the service of the parish and the town of Echternach. There had even been a choir in Echternach’s parish church (Sts Peter-and-Paul) from 1836 to 1842.

Due to the crises of the 1930s the number of members shrank; during the war years of 1940-45 the choir was reduced to silence in public, and at the end of 1944 the Basilica was destroyed for the grater part. But upon the return from evacuation in spring 1945, singing was resumed at once – in the undamaged crypt. In 1953 the reconstructed Basilica was consecrated, and on the spacious gallery  a powerful Klais-organ accompanied a considerable number of singers which, however, shrank to only 31 men until 1969 (so far there had been no female voices in the choir).

In that year women were for the first time admitted to the choir, and this “mixed choir” could now attempt to perform greater classical works. Marcel Weber, titular organist since 1959, unexpectedly slipped into the double function of “organist and choirmaster”, when notary Joseph Hoffmann, an enthusiastic and talented amateur organist, willingly took up playing the organ in the high masses. This very fortunate symbiosis ended with the death of Jos.Hoffmann at the end of 1983 and that of Marcel Weber in 1986. In that year Jean-Marie Kieffer, teacher of music and religion at the Lycée Classique d’Echternach, was appointed organist. His successor was Paul Kayser in 2014, and from September  2018 Jos Majerus has been the new titular organist.

Since 1986 Marc Juncker, now honorary director of Echternach’s Regional Music School, has conducted the Basilica Choir. Under his impulse and in cooperation with the chamber orchestra Estro Armonico, there have now been concerts nearly every year with important spiritual choir works of the baroque, classical and romantic periods. Various concerts  are performed together with other choirs or the Harmonie Municipale d’Echternach, and some records and CDs heve been produced. Apart from polyphonic choral singing, Gregorian chant is cultivated as well as popular songs from Echternach and Luxembourg in general.

Guest choirs

Regensburger Domspatzen 2019


Choirs from home and abroad can be heard regularly in the Basilica!

The mighty bells of the west towers impress with the majestic depth of their sound.


The mighty bells of the west towers impress with the majestic depth of their sound.

Short history of the bells after the Second World War

1944 – all the bells are destroyed when the Basilica is blown up, including the St Sebastian bell donated by Emperor Maximilian in 1512.
1948 – The Rüetschi Bell Foundry in Aarau (CH) casts six bells for the Basilica (b° – des’ – es’ – f’ – as’ – b’).
The new St Sebastian bell (b°) is modeled on the old one, and the inscriptions are copied.
1953 – At the consecration of the reconstructed Basilica the Dutch Catholics donate a bourdon bell ges° (Eijsbouts, Asten, NL).
The three smaller Rüetschi bells are replaced by Eijsbouts-bells (tuned to the ges° bell) and are transferred to the new church of Bollendorf-Pont
1999/2000 – After a crack has appeared in the big Eijsbouts bell (ges°), it is taken out of service. The Rüetschi bells are reunited (the three Eijsbouts-bells now come to Bollendorf-Pont). Bell founder Hans August Mark from Brockscheid (D) casts three new bells (f° – as° – c”).
Now the original bell motif, as planned after the war, has been realized.

NameNominalGewicht (kg)Durchmesser (mm)GussjahrGiesserei
1Willibrordf⁰ +86.98522152000Hans August Mark, Brockscheid (D)
2Benediktas⁰ +75.53020001999Hans August Mark, Brockscheid (D)
3Sebastianb⁰ +73.09517401948H. Rüetschi, Aarau (CH)
4Mariades¹ +91.81614601948H. Rüetschi, Aarau (CH)
5Barbaraes¹ +61.29513101948H. Rüetschi, Aarau (CH)
6Wilgilslusf¹ +792611701948H. Rüetschi, Aarau (CH)
7Irminaas¹ +95489701948H. Rüetschi, Aarau (CH)
8Plectrudisb¹ +73858701948H. Rüetschi, Aarau (CH)
9Johannesc² +63557801999Hans August Mark, Brockscheid (D)
The Basilica carillon: a unique instrument in Luxembourg

The Carillon

The carillon in the south east tower consists of 50 bells, cast in the foundry of Maria Laach Abbey (D) by Br. Michael Reuter in 2008. The biggest bell (c’) weighs 1,900 kg, the total weight of all the bells is 12,000 kg.
The bells are cast in progression and tuned to the chimes of the Basilica.
The playing mechanism was installed by André Voegelé company of Strasbourg (F) and is now supervised by Eijsbouts (NL).

The carillon can both be played from the mechanical keyboard or electro-pneumatically from a digital clock.
Between 10 am and 5 pm (on Sundays from 1 pm) Willibrord hymns or other tunes can be heard every half hour.

Recitals are regularly offered by carillonneurs.

Nr.NameNominalGewicht (kg)Durchmesser (mm)GussjahrGiesser
1Heiligste DreifaltigkeitDo190015502008Br. Michael Reuter OSB
2Hll. Jakobus d. Ä. & Jakobus d.J.135013802008Br. Michael Reuter OSB
3Hll. Petrus & Paulus Ré dièse116013002008Br. Michael Reuter OSB
4Hll. Johannes Ev. & AndreasMi94012102008Br. Michael Reuter OSB
5Hl. Stephanus Fa76011402008Br. Michael Reuter OSB
6Hl. ElisabethFa dièse66010552008Br. Michael Reuter OSB
7Hll. Drei KönigeSol5809802008Br. Michael Reuter OSB
8Hubert Schumacher & Michel Heintz Sol dièse4408802008Br. Michael Reuter OSB
9Georges Kiesel & Paul SpangLa3808202008Br. Michael Reuter OSB
10Camille Wampach & Richard Maria StaudLa dièse3007962008Br. Michael Reuter OSB
11Hll. Jacintha & Francisco & LuciaSi2557332008Br. Michael Reuter OSB
12Hl. AlfonsusDo2186982008Br. Michael Reuter OSB
13Hl. Edith SteinDo dièse1816572008Br. Michael Reuter OSB
14Hl. Joseph1466102008Br. Michael Reuter OSB
15Grossherzogin CharlotteRé dièse1255752008Br. Michael Reuter OSB
16Sel. Mutter TeresaMi1025412008Br. Michael Reuter OSB
17Hll. Matthäus & ThomasFa855282008Br. Michael Reuter OSB
18Papst Paul VI.Fa dièse805202008Br. Michael Reuter OSB
19Max Menager & Pierre SchmitzSol765142008Br. Michael Reuter OSB
20Hl. MonikaSol dièse745122008Br. Michael Reuter OSB
21Hll. Kunigunde & HeinrichLa724602008Br. Michael Reuter OSB
22Papst Pius XII. La dièse704602008Br. Michael Reuter OSB
23Hl. ClaraSi514052008Br. Michael Reuter OSB
24Hl. AntoniusDo504052008Br. Michael Reuter OSB
25Hl. Karl BorromäusDo dièse433852008Br. Michael Reuter OSB
26Hl. Martinus433852008Br. Michael Reuter OSB
27Papst Eugen III.Ré dièse423682008Br. Michael Reuter OSB
28Hll. Joachim & AnnaMi403682008Br. Michael Reuter OSB
29Hll. Sophia & LuziaFa403682008Br. Michael Reuter OSB
30Hll. Philippus & Judas TaddäusFa dièse393282008Br. Michael Reuter OSB
31Papst Leo XIII.Sol303202008Br. Michael Reuter OSB
32Hl. EligiusSol dièse293152008Br. Michael Reuter OSB
33Hl. ZitaLa313152008Br. Michael Reuter OSB
34Louis HoffmannLa dièse312832009Br. Michael Reuter OSB
35Papst Johannes Paul II. Si242832008Br. Michael Reuter OSB
36Hl. Franz von AssisiDo242832008Br. Michael Reuter OSB
37Erzengel MichaelDo dièse242822008Br. Michael Reuter OSB
38Hl. Nikolaus242822008Br. Michael Reuter OSB
39Sel. Peter von LuxemburgRé dièse232812008Br. Michael Reuter OSB
40Hll. Mattias & SimonMi232812008Br. Michael Reuter OSB
41Alexis HoffmannFa232802008Br. Michael Reuter OSB
42Hl. KatharinaFa dièse232802008Br. Michael Reuter OSB
43Hl. WillehadSol232702008Br. Michael Reuter OSB
44Kardinal FringsSol dièse222692008Br. Michael Reuter OSB
45Hl. LudgerusLa212632008Br. Michael Reuter OSB
46Hl. IgnatiusLa dièse202462008Br. Michael Reuter OSB
47Sel. Peter FriedhofenSi192372008Br. Michael Reuter OSB
48Hl. AmalbergaDo182352008Br. Michael Reuter OSB
49Hl. HermannDo dièse172282008Br. Michael Reuter OSB
50Hl. Kunibert / Sel. Schetzel 172232008Br. Michael Reuter OSB

Texte: Francis Erasmy, Pfarrarchiv

Fotos: Francis Erasmy, Serge Feltes, Margret Friedrich (Fotostudio Creativ Echternach), Luc Schreiner, Jonathan Scott, Frank Wilhelm, Pfarrarchiv