Couple gets surprise ‘blessing’ at wedding they’ll never forget (VIDEO)

The viral video of a “personalized” wedding mass by Irish priest Ray Kelly has gone on to reach more than 52 million viewers and delighted the world.

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Seen one Catholic wedding ceremony, you’ve seen them all? Not if you’ve attended the sacramental ceremony with Father Ray Kelly as the officiant! We stumbled upon this video of the Irish priest giving a bride a groom named Chris and Leah a surprise that had them in shock at the altar and their witnesses roaring on their feet as he prepared to deliver the liturgy.

We don’t want to ruin the surprise, so take a look for yourself and see what happened:

The viral video of Father Ray’s personalized wedding version of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah has gone on to reach more than 52 million viewers. Though it has some detractors (one commenter aptly notes upstaging a bride is usually considered bad form …), the clip has surprised and delighted the tens of millions of viewers who’ve tuned in to the unexpected sight of a man of the cloth belting out a classic pop anthem to the happy couple.

Obviously, his performance has been generally well-received since this is not the first time (or assuredly the last) that he’ll be asked to be officiant. Since his video went viral in 2014, he’s been videoed signing at other weddings, and has been traveling the world sharing his love of singing and has released his two albums, including his latest, An Irish Christmas Blessing.

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Born in 1952, Father Ray Kelly began his career in the Civil Service before being called to the priesthood. After being ordained in 1989, Father Ray joined the St. Patrick’s Missionary Society (Kiltegan Fathers). He served as a missionary in South Africa and in the U.S. before being called back to Ireland to serve as a parish priest in 2006.

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During all of this, Father Ray kept at his love of singing. He built a studio in his parish house and often sang at special events. Through his entire calling as a priest, he never let his gift of music wane. And perhaps this is the most surprising and delightful thing of all: That God didn’t let it wane either.

It’s a fun reminder for all of us, that no matter what we’re “called” to do in life—whether at home, in the workplace, at church, or places we volunteer—our gifts and talents are meant to be shared with others, and what better place to do that than inside a church, at a wedding, where two people are preparing to share the most important thing of all.


Caryn Rivadeneira
Caryn Rivadeneira
Caryn Rivadeneira is the author of five books and is a columnist for Her.meneutics and ThinkChristian. She lives outside Chicago with her husband, three kids, and one red-nose pit bull. Visit her at

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