Kathy Schiffer

Two religious communities in Ohio have collaborated to produce a video that parodies English singer/songwriter Adele’s “Hello” – showing that religious sisters can have a lot of fun while delivering an important message.

Adele’s Piano Ballad

Adele’s Grammy award-winning single “Hello” burst onto the charts in 2015, with her plaintive lyrics focused on nostalgia and regret. The song was an instant hit, reaching No. 1 in almost every country it charted in. In the United States, “Hello” debuted at the top of the Billboard Hot 100, then held the top spot for 10 consecutive weeks. It stands as one of the best-selling singles of all time.

In interviews, Adele described the song as being about “all the relationships of her past,” including relationships with friends, family members and ex-partners. “I felt all of us were moving on,” she explained on The Radio 1 Breakfast Show. “…It’s not that we have fallen out, we’ve all got our lives going on and I needed to write that song so that they would all hear it, because I’m not in touch with them.”

Here’s the original video from Adele:

The Sisters’ Playful Version

And now, two Cleveland-area religious communities have borrowed and expanded upon Adele’s theme, coming together to produce a video parody that’s gone viral. The Mercedarian Sisters and the Christ the Bridegroom Monastery, a Byzantine Catholic women’s monastic community, have produced a YouTube video of their own which combines faith and fun, hope and humor. Only three minutes long, the sisters’ video gained 23,000 views in the first two weeks following its May 1 release.

Here’s their version:

The sisters’ video can be appreciated as just a silly song about a cookie – but on closer review, there’s something much deeper going on.

First, there’s the humorous “Oreo cookie” theme. In the Sisters’ video, an Oreo cookie with separate halves lies on a round table between the groups. The white and black of the cookie reflects the colors of the habits of the two communities. The sisters sing about how they should not be separated; and then symbolically, with just a few steps, they adopt the familiar Oreo pattern: Sisters in black habits on the outside, those wearing creamy white in the center.

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