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Singing priest delights happy couple on wedding day

An Irish couple had a wedding to remember as their priest made the day extra special by singing a tribute song to them during the service.

Father Ray Kelly

Towards the end of the ceremony Father Ray Kelly burst into song, serenading Chris and Leah O’Kane with their own personalised version of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah.

The impromptu performance was recorded by one of the wedding guests, and it has now been watched more than 200,000 times on YouTube.

The happy couple smiled at each other as Father Kelly sang, and the giggles and cheers of their family and friends can be heard in the video.

Father Kelly, whose parish is in Oldcastle, Co Meath, altered the lyrics of the song to personalise it for Chris and Leah. He started with:

“We join together here today,
To help two people on their way,
As Leah and Chris start their life together.”

“And now we’ve reached their special day,
We’ve come to help them celebrate,
And show them how much we all love them too, yeah,
Hallelujah, Hallelujah.”

The following lines also feature in Father Kelly’s tribute to the stunned newlyweds:

“As Leah’s walking up the aisle,
And Chris looks up at gives a smile”

“With Leah’s friends and family at her side,
She really is the blushing bride.”

At the end of the performance, Father Kelly was greeted by a round of applause and cheers as many of the delighted guests gave him a standing ovation.

Father Kelly, who has had specialist voice training in the past, said: “I like to sing, music is part of the family, it’s always been in the genes.

“This was a girl from Dublin, Leah, and her husband was from Cookstown, Co Tyrone; they weren’t from the parish at all.

“Normally for a local couple, they’d ask me to sing at the wedding and I’d oblige, but this couple had no idea.

“I put on my track for Leonard Cohen and that’s where it took off. The responses was quite amazing – there were some standing ovations and there was a big cheer and roar.”

Father Kelly can be seen in the video cheekily smirking at the shocked guests, as he enjoyed their surprise. He has become somewhat of a celebrity because of the popularity of the YouTube video, and told Irish radio station 2FM: “I wanted to make it as comfortable and enjoyable in the church for the couple.”

Watch Father Kelly’s special wedding day song below.

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  1. Deb (Larson) Szuhai

    Even though I am not (unfortunately) Irish, although in my heart I am I have NEVER, EVER heard or seen a more wonderful wedding ceremony in my life. I am Catholic, having been Lutheran in my younger years. Finally I have found the place where I have always felt I belong. But, am dissatisfied with my church right now. I would be in Fr. Ray’s church everyday. Not just to hear his marvelous singing voice, but just seeing him is what I had always wanted in my life. May God bless Fr. Ray, and that adorable young couple.

  2. I have had the pleasure of meeting Fr. Fay Kelly. Because of this video I have made some wonderful facebook friends and have met some of them in person. I have seen two of his concerts and own 4 of Fr. Ray’s CD’s all signed. Amazing how one video has brought so many people together. A special thank you to Lucy Pitts-O’Connor for the words that made all this happen. Poultney VT USA

  3. Margaret Higgins Haber

    If more priests were like him the lines for the Catholic Church would stretch for miles.

  4. Jeanne M McPoyle Wernersbach

    I love this Priest – he has made such an impact on people with being human and showing his love for the new couple. Made it personnal for them and their families. Wish we could clone him and send him to my parish – He is great and I am sure Pope Francis loved the fact he did this.
    We should have a 1000 more like him. I am going to look him up when I get back to Ireland.

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