Undoubtedly, the last year has been one of the most difficult in recent history, the coronavirus has shaken our society to the core and changed our lives forever. However, throughout this year, we have seen many Christians stepping up and responding to the needs of their community.
We want to take a look at six videos from 2020 where Christianity went viral and brought a smile to our faces.
1. “The Portable Priest”
On 23rd March Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the UK under a national lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. Just three days later, Rev Pat Allerton decided to take to the streets of his parish in West London “to lift spirits up in this difficult time for us all”. Armed with only a speaker system, the vicar of St Peter’s Notting Hill would spend around ten minutes playing a recorded hymn and leading his neighbours in the Lord’s prayer. His initiative went viral, social media started filling up with videos of people from their houses seeing him. Many stories emerged of him bringing a message of hope and the national media started to interview him. He did it all throughout the first national lockdown and his videos have been watched millions of times. His slogan became: “If people can’t come to church, the church will come the people”.
2. The Blessing
The Blessing had to feature among our viral Christian videos of 2020. For some, it was the music video that brought hope during the darkest moments of the pandemic. Right at the beginning of May, singers, choirs and worship leaders from over 65 different churches and Christian groups came together to take part in a cover of “The Blessing”.
Originally by Kari Jobe and Cody Carnes, Chris Brown and Elevation Worship, the cover went viral reaching millions within days and sparking other versions of the song in different languages and countries.
The architect of it all, Rev Tim Hughes, told Premier: "Basically, we thought, let's call lots of friends, lots of different networks and people and see if everyone can send in someone from their church singing this song and then we edited it all together.
"It was amazing,” he said. “Everybody said yes and it's been a beautiful thing seeing it all come together."
The UK version currently has more than four million views.
3. Canterbury Cathedral’s cat
In a time where churches and cathedrals were still adapting to technology and moving everything online, a funny moment occurred when the Canterbury Cathedral cat stole the spotlight during a live streamed morning prayer.
Tiger the cat jumps up and starts to lap milk from the jug on the breakfast table while the Very Rev Dr Robert Willis, Dean of Canterbury, continues to lead prayer.
"We've acquired a friend this morning," Dr Willis said as Tiger helped himself to the refreshments.
Tiger is one of four cats at the Deanery, with another named Leo going viral a few weeks later after disappearing into Dr Willis' vestments during another video. .
4. Dancing Priest Does Hamilton
An American priest recorded his own version of a song from the musical Hamilton, changing the lyrics to make it about missing being at church in coronavirus times.
Reverend Lonnie Lacy, rector of St. Anne's Episcopal Church in Tifton, Georgia, dressed in his clerical garments sang: “These days, we can't get together, and church doesn't quite feel the same."
"You'll be back with all your friends, and you'll belt out all your favourite hymns, you'll say your prayers and pass the peace, even with the ones you like the least."
The video has one and a half million views.
If there’s one thing we’ve seen going viral this year, it’s dance routines and among Christians there was no exception. Hundreds of Catholic nuns and priests took part in the viral dance challenge Jerusalema.
The song has now attracted over 282 million views on YouTube and is a smash hit on Spotify and other social media platforms.
Not a religious song by nature, Jerusalema expresses the nostalgia that is felt when being far away from Jerusalem.
The Catholic Cathedral of Montreal was one of the first to accept the challenge and has almost two million videos on Youtube.
6. The little girl that that high fives the priest about to bless her
What better way to wrap up our viral video list than with the spontaneous humour of children.
In October, a video of girl high-fiving a priest about to bless her stole our hearts and went viral all around the world.
The priest holds his hand above the little’s girl head and says the blessing in Spanish. The girl, upon seeing the priest’s hand, jumps up and high-fives him, with the priest unable to hold back a laugh.
A very joyful video indeed.