Now that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Royal Wedding is in our collective rear-view mirror and everyones traditional comments about the wedding dress reveal and the arrival of guests are a thing of the past, it was an American bishop that captured the world’s attention early Saturday morning.
Those of us who set the alarm and got up at 3aCT to watch the wedding live were witness to a brilliant break from royal wedding tradition as Chicago-born Bishop Michael Curry, the first African-American to serve as presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, delivered an impassioned and colorful sermon as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle sat near the preacher holding hands as they watched him speak.
Invited to speak by the bride and groom, Bishop Curry addressed those in attendance as ‘brothers and sisters’ and had those inside Windsor, along with those of us watching around the world, transfixed for the entirety of his brilliantly inspirational speech.
Drawing on the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., Bishop Curry set Twitter’s hair on fire speaking passionately about the power of love, focusing not only on the couple’s relationship but also on themes such as war, poverty and hunger. “We must discover the power of love, the redemptive power of love. And when we do that, we will be able to make of this old world a new world. Love is the only way,” quoting Dr. King. At times, it seemed clear he was addressing the world, not just those in attendance on Saturday at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle.
Before the ceremony, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, who officiated the ceremony in St George’s Chapel, said he was thrilled the prince and Ms Markle had chosen Bishop Curry, describing him as a “brilliant pastor, stunning preacher”. Bishop Curry did deliver perhaps the most memorable line of the day when he appeared to realize he may have gone on speaking a bit long, saying towards the end of the speech that he had better wrap up, as “…we gotta get you all married!”
If you didn’t quite make it up at 3aCT Saturday morning, you can re-watch the Royal Wedding on a number of PBS stations in America over the remainder of the weekend (Sunday at 12nCT on KERA in North Texas). While the dress, the arrival of the guests and the sheer happiness of the day is easily enough to experience a second time, Bishop Curry’s sermon alone is worth the price of admission. Cheers.