The Irish priest Fr. Ray Kelly from Old Castle in Co. Meath who has become an internet sensation overnight following the release of his singing at a wedding mass, is a fan of the limelight.
Originally from Tyrrelstown in Co. Westmeath, the priest hit the headlines after he burst into his own rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” while officiating a recent wedding. The YouTube video of Fr. Kelly singing had registered two million views by late Wednesday. It has also become IrishCentral's most popular Facebooked article ever with close to 50,000 Facebook likes in 24 hours.
Speaking on Irish National Radio, Fr. Kelly told radio host Ryan Tubridy that "I like to sing, music is part of the family, it's always been in the genes."
"I worked in Dublin for awhile and had the voice trained there and I stuck at it. I was part of the priest show in Dublin many years ago in Dublin."
Singing was something he started doing when he "was a lad." He said that he is well known throughout the parish for his songs at different occasions. It’s rumoured he puts on a great Christmas Mass.
A new YouTube video of him singing "You Raise me Up" has also surfaced.
He came late to the priesthood – he worked as a public servant before joining up.
"I’m currently working on my third album. I’m 25 years ordained and I’m thinking of calling the album about that, maybe '25 years so marvellous,'" he told Evoke.ie.
Speaking of the wedding that has made him an internet sensation he said, "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," he told the show.
"I put on my track for Leonard Cohen and that's where it took off. The wedding ceremony was over, we were about to have the final prayer and do the civil part of the ceremony.
"The responses was quite amazing – there were some standing ovations and there was a big cheer and roar.
"I wanted to make it comfortable and enjoyable in the church for the couple."
He said he has heard from the couple who are honeymooning in Mexico and that they are delighted with the reaction.
Fr. Kelly was unavailable for further interviews as he had to prepare for the 7pm mass in his local parish and the day job comes first for this priest no matter what celebrity status may follow.
Watch this space...
Long before we had singing priests the creators of ‘Father Ted’ starring the late Dermot Morgan had a franchise of dancing priests.
Check out this hilarious video: