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.
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,
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.