You better preach, Bishop Michael Curry.
The first black presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, Bishop Curry gave a ceremony-stealing sermon earlier today during Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle.
The American bishop’s presence was notable given that royal wedding sermons are traditionally delivered by senior clergy from the Church of England. Rt. Hon. Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, married the couple, now officially known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Bishop Curry honored the biracial American bride’s heritage, People reports, by quoting Martin Luther King Jr.: “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.”
“Someone once said that Jesus began the most revolutionary movement in all of human history: a movement grounded in the unconditional love of God for the world and a movement mandating people to live that love, and in so doing, to change not only their lives, but the very life of the world itself,” added the socially progressive author of Crazy Christians: A Call to Follow Jesus.
Guys, the British people might not be used to this kind of preacher, but he's marrying an American, and this preacher is SHUTTING. IT. DOWN. AMERICAN STYLE
— michelle visage (@michellevisage) May 19, 2018
“I’m talking about some power. Real power. Power to change the world. If you don’t believe me, well, there were some old slaves in America’s antebellum South who explained the dynamic power of love and why it has the power to transform. They explained it this way: They sang a spiritual, even in the midst of their captivity.”
Bishop Curry’s passionate and animated sermon drew some rather comical reactions from shocked members of the royal family and other guests.
After the Episcopal Church voted in 2015 to let gay couples marry in religious ceremonies, Curry, a bishop in North Carolina, was one of the first to allow same-sex marriages in that state’s churches, the Washington Post reports.
As the son of the late Rev. Kenneth Curry, an outspoken civil rights activist, he has often drawn parallels between the black and LGBT civil rights movements.
Defending same-sex marriage after the Anglican Communion announced it would penalize the Episcopal Church for upholding the same-sex marriage decision, Bishop Curry said, “I stand before you as a descendant of African slaves, stolen from their native land, enslaved in a bitter bondage, and then even after emancipation, segregated and excluded in church and society. And this conjures that up again, and brings pain.”
Watch the full sermon below.