Irish Priest Goes Viral With Wedding Cover of ‘Hallelujah’

Leonard Cohen‘s “Hallelujah” has been covered at least a thousand times at this point, but you’re guaranteed to have never heard it like this. A YouTube video surfaced featuring footage of a wedding between Chris and Leah O’Kane in Ireland. And the reason it is going viral is easy to see.

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The ceremony seemed fairly standard. The bride was introduced by her father and the two of them walked down the aisle to join her soon-to-be-husband.

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The band – SonLight Music Ministry – had just finished singing “Be Thou My Vision”, and the priest and congregation were pausing for a moment of reflection.

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But then, the priest presiding over the wedding, Father Ray Kelly, gave the couple a surprise…

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…by singing the oft-covered Cohen classic with more than a few little differences and flourishes. Kelly, from Oldcastle, north of Dublin, tries to hold back a grin throughout the entire performance, which is sung quite beautifully.

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Rather than starting off with the usual refrain of “Now I’ve heard there was a secret chord / That David played and it pleased the Lord,” Kelly begins with his own greeting to the attendees: “We join together here today / To help two people on their way / As Leah and Chris start their life together.” The groom seemed downright pleased…and amused.

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Father Kelly’s singing talent moved the “blushing” bride to tears, but we can assume they were tears of joy, as the congregation gave Father Kelly a rousing ovation.

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By the end, after a long ovation, Kelly heaved a tired “OK” and proceeded with the ceremony.

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Here’s the full video. Fast forward to 0:50 seconds and watch the priest break into song.

We tried our best with the lyrics – feel free to correct any we got wrong.

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 date,
We’ve come to help them celebrate,
And show them how much we love them too,
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah,
As Leah is walking up the aisle,
And Chris looks up and gives a smile,
The love that flows between them fills the church,
With Leah’s friends and family on her side,
She really is the blushing bride,
With love and pride they lead her
Hallelujah,
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah,
With the priest and the family who lead the prayers,
We say our lines and they say theirs,
I guide them through the ceremony,
And in this house of God above,
They join their hands to show their love,
And say those most important words’I do’ yeah,
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah,
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah,
Hallelujah,
Hallelujah.

This is gold. Pass it along.

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