A Co Armagh church has gone viral online after the clergy ended Saturday night's mass with an Irish jig "to raise spirits" amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Broadcast online over webcam at St Peter's Church in Lurgan, the clip captured by viewer Patricia Lavery shows sacristan Noel McCann dancing, flanked by Father Colum Wright and Deacon Kevin Devine.
In the video, which has been viewed more than 140,000 times according to the church, the trio can be seen dancing and skipping to an upbeat accordian arrangement of the traditional hymn 'Lord of the Dance'.
The humorous incident comes just a week after Fr Jimmy McPhillips in Lisnaskea went viral for playing the introduction to Orange Order favourite The Sash at the end of morning mass.
A second church has now gone viral online, St Peter's in Lurgan - where Noel McCann, Fr Wright and Deacon Devine were filmed dancing at the end of mass on Saturday evening.I caught up with sacristan Noel McCann to get his reaction @BelTel :https://t.co/UCLUJCRwCZ pic.twitter.com/aU6c755BMC— Chris Leebody (@ChrisLeebody) May 25, 2020
Far from jumping on the bandwagon, however, Mr McCann explained he has been entertaining parishioners watching his service for several weeks, in order to try and bring some fun to those watching at home.
"I think it is important to keep people's spirits up at this time and during this situation," said Noel McCann.
"I've been waving to people the last few weeks at the end of Mass and started to do a few of what we call Irish dancing steps. I thought it was a great a way of connecting with the people watching on the outside and saying, 'Look, we are still here, the church is still here', to try and make that personal connection. This is a hard time for everybody.
"I did it just for a bit of a laugh and to give people a bit of a lift and then people seemed to start to enjoy the bit of craic and the simple things we were doing. That is how it started and last night was just an elaboration of that really.
"I am 63 years of age so I shouldn't really be doing those things maybe. I'm not a dancer, I never was, but it is only a bit of fun and if it makes people smile it is good enough for us.
"Once the church opens officially again these things won't happen, but just for the moment it is good craic."