Chris and Leah O’Kane, the bride and groom, had no idea their priest was going to burst into song at their wedding in Oldcastle, County Meath, Ireland.
In the video above, we first hear a brief song by the ladies of SonLight Music Ministry in the church. Then the camera pans across to the altar and we watch as Father Ray Kelly strolls over casually and completely stuns everyone by singing his own beautiful version of Leonard Cohen’s 1984 classic song “Hallelujah,” suitably adapted to include the happy couple’s names.
Father Kelly has musical talent indeed and even includes a little humor during the song as he hits the high notes.
The bride and groom and everyone in attendance at the wedding thoroughly enjoyed the event, ending with cheers and loud applause.
Father Kelly told the BBC that normally local people know he sings at weddings and funerals or whenever he is asked. However the couple in question has no idea it was going to happen. The bride, Leah, hails from Dublin and the groom, Chris is from Cookstown in County Tyrone. The reception was planned at a hotel about 10 miles away and the couple chose his church for convenience.
He did mention at the wedding rehearsal that he might sing a song for them, but apparently Leah merely grinned and said, “OK sure,” not really taking him seriously. The bride certainly ended up in tears as the song provoked a standing ovation from everyone watching.
The video was uploaded to YouTube on April 7 and has already gone past 15 million views.