Dancing really can be a religious experience.
To drive this point further, a Catholic priest in Portugal is helping his parishioners find some added relief amid the coronavirus pandemic by getting behind the turntables to spin dance music twice a week.
When not performing mass, Father Guilherme Peixoto has obtained a faithful following for his DJ skills which he broadcasts on Facebook on Fridays and Sundays.
For his turns behind the ones and twos, the 45-year-old trades his church garb for a hipster T-shirt and plays pop, club and EDM hits to help lighten the mood for the throngs of people stuck at home amid the outbreak of COVID-19. Like a prayer!
“Right now it’s so important to use social media to bring a bit of joy into people’s lives,” Peixoto told Reuters, according to the New York Post. “And people seem happy when they see a priest playing music online.”
In addition to his turntable, Peixoto’s livestream sets are decked out with strobe lights, a microphone, props, colorful decorations and even a Corona beer sign.
He promotes the sets, which have attracted thousands of people of all ages, by posting images with branding that reads “House of God” and “Padre Peixoto Live.”
Portugal has been on lockdown for three weeks and has canceled all large gatherings including religious services.
“Although churches are closed, I want to let people know there are many ways to pray,” said Father Peixoto.
Once the pandemic ends, Peixoto plans to keep DJing online, and in real life, during the summer months as he’s done in years passed.
And with more and more religious leaders holding online mass, he believes social media is going to bring about big changes within the clergy.
“Priests are now starting to understand the importance of these channels,” Peixoto said. “This (pandemic) could revolutionize the church – it absolutely could.”