Many church weddings are predictable. The priest talks a bit. The bride and groom lovingly look deep into each other’s eyes. I do. I do. And kiss the bride. Some people, and I’m not admitting that I’m one of them, don’t really look forward to church weddings because some people think there is too much long, boring talk going on by the priest. Father Ray Kelly, however, does things very differently in his church.
At the wedding of Chris and Leah O’Kane in the Oldcastle Church in Meath, Ireland, Father Kelly surprised everyone by singing a personalized version of “Hallelujah,” originally by Leonard Cohen. If this doesn’t brighten your day — maybe even bring a happy tear to your eye — you may have to check your pulse. Watch.
The video starts with two women singing a beautiful song, and then I expected the wedding march, but that’s when Father Kelly begins. It was a song completely unexpected because during the rehearsal, Father Kelly didn’t practice the song, though he did tell the couple that maybe he would sing a little at the ceremony. It’s believed the couple didn’t think that was really going to happen. Priests typically don’t belt into song, do they?
Father Ray does. He’s quite the chanteur — and is working on his third album. Yes, album. Not a bad side gig. And having him sing at a church wedding certainly makes the whole day even more special and memorable! Years from now, guests who made it to the ceremony will be saying, “And that Priest sang ‘Hallelujah’ and it was amazing!!!” The talented Father Ray still loves being a priest the most. He said, “I enjoy singing, but I wouldn’t want to do it full time — I love what I’m doing as a priest. The way I look at it is, it’s a gift one has, and if you have a gift, you use it.”
Love him. And I bet more people will want to have their nuptials in Ireland now.
What did you think of Father Kelly’s performance?