An Episcopal priest who oversees a congregation in Georgia has become an internet celebrity after posting a video of himself parodying a song from the hit musical “Hamilton.”
The Rev. Lonnie Lacy, rector of St. Anne’s Episcopal Church in Tifton, posted a video to YouTube on Saturday of him parodying the “Hamilton” song “You’ll Be Back.”
In the popular musical, the song is sung by King George III to the rebellious colonials, with the villainous monarch swearing that he will be victorious in the war.
Lacy took on a more benevolent tone to his version, dressing up in clerical attire and speaking about the benefits of attending worship, with the clergyman dancing around the empty church.
The video shows Lacy optimistically setting up for the return of normal worship, removing ropes from the pews, setting out hymns and communion, and lighting a candle.
“To all who miss worship, fellowship, and — yes! — Communion at your churches, just remember: We will get back together even better than we ever were before. Da da dat daa!” the description for the video says.
The video has more than 620,000 views as of Wednesday, making it by far the most watched of the videos on St. Anne's Episcopal Church’s YouTube channel.
Lacy told Episcopal News Service in an interview on Monday that he was inspired to do the video in part because he wanted to do something both hopeful and humorous for people.
“Every year at the talent show, I try to do something really big and really ridiculous as the closing act. And it’s just become a thing — people know that Lonnie’s going to do something big and stupid,” he explained.
“[The video is] a little humorous word of hope, a promise that God is going to get us through this. There is going to be another side of this, and we will get back together.”
In response to coronavirus, the majority of churches in the United States opted to cancel their in-person worship services to help curb the rate of infection.
More recently, large numbers of congregations have begun to gradually reopen, typically with varying levels of social distancing guidelines and restrictions in place for public health reasons.
According to a LifeWay Research report, 70% of Protestant churches responded that they had returned to holding in-person worship services, most with safety measures in place.
“While more and more churches have resumed in-person worship services, it has not always been a straight path back,” said LifeWay Research’s Executive Director, Scott McConnell, in a statement.
“Some have had difficulty resuming or had to stop meeting again as things got worse in their area.”