The new Spire of Hope at St Anne's Cathedral will become a well-known " signature for the Belfast skyline", according to the visiting American cleric who preached at the dedication ceremony last night.
The Bishop of New York, the Rt Rev Dr Mark Sisk, described the controversial spire as "literally dazzling", and said that it added wonderfully to an already distinguished building.
He said the spire did not "ape" the past but that it made "a bold architectural statement about the dynamic nature of the life of this cathedral, and the community of faith which it so clearly represents.
"What you have achieved does justice to the original vision which gave rise to this cathedral church and to the generations of men and women who have loved it and served it so well."
Dr Sisk was speaking on the sixth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the US, and said that he came from a city, which like Belfast, had been the scene of enormous violence.
He added: "The violence that each of our cities and nations has experienced is violence of the very worst sort.
"It is cool and pitiless, violence directed at the innocent and the helpless. Such violence is always evil.
"When it is done in the name of God it is the ultimate blasphemy".
The dedication, in the presence of a large congregation in St Anne's, was performed by the Church of Ireland Primate Archbishop Alan Harper.
Other church leaders who attended included the Church of Ireland Bishops Harold Millar and Alan Abernethy, the former Presbyterian Moderator the Very Rev Dr Ken Newell, the former Methodist President the Rev Ivan McElhinney, and the Very Rev Dr Hugh Kennedy of St Peter's Cathedral in West Belfast.
The large representation included the Lord Mayor, Councillor Jim Rodgers, and Her Majesty's Deputy-Lieutenant Keith Cochrane, as well as members of the US Consulate in Northern Ireland.
There was special music to mark the occasion, including a hymn that was sung at the consecration of the cathedral nave in 1904.
The Dean of Belfast, the Very Rev Dr Houston McKelvey, said he hoped that the new spire would be accepted by all as "an icon of God's love and forgiveness, and that it will become an accepted part of the city's skyline.
"The gospel of hope which the spire represents is for the universe, as well as being most particularly relevant to both our cities and countries," he added.