(Photo: Twitter/Kayla Hounsell)
The church organist rallied "stadium," the "crowd" did the wave, and everyone in the Bedford United Church hugged each other after witnessing the Canada men's hockey team beat Sweden 3-0 in the Winter Olympics gold medal final on a screen in their church on Sunday morning.
The Nova Scotia church organized the viewing party last week, hoping that they would catch its country's team win its second straight Olympic gold medal on Sunday. As the puck dropped in Sochi, Russia at 4 p.m. local time and as early as 8 a.m. on Canada's East Coast, dozens of fans headed to bars, which opened before dawn for special coverage of the game.
Hoping to help out fans conflicted about choosing between God or country, BUC streamed the victory on a giant projection stream and praised God following the game in which Canada claimed gold.
"The congregation of CTV came to BUC this morning to video our patriotic-sport zeal. Canada WON!!!!! Praise the Lord!" it posted on its Facebook page after the score went final.
Although earlier event information teasing "Pre-service Hockey!" had said the church would not be watching the whole game, video footage of the event that the church posted on Sunday night suggests otherwise.
Twitter users showed little surprise that the Halifax church had streamed the game, with many posting their reactions to a photo of the congregation that CTV reporter Kayla Housell posted on her account.
"That's an 'only in Canada' moment!" tweeted fellow Canadian Hassan Arif.
Doug Landry made up his own "Bible" verse, inspired by hockey player Sidney Crosby, who scored Canada's second goal of the game.
"And then, Sidney did deliver unto his flock, the goal of the insurer. Psalm 87. Let us cheer," he quipped.
Bedford was not the only religious community which got into the hockey game. According to Twitter user, Mona Sharkawy, at least one mosque was also showing the game.