American Bishop Michael Curry has captured the world’s attention with a long and powerful address at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
Bishop Curry, from Chicago, spoke passionately about the power of love, quoting Dr Martin Luther King.
“There’s power in love, don’t underestimate it,” he said.
The Most Reverend Michael Curry became the first black presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church – like the Church of England, part of the Anglican Communion – when he was appointed in 2015.
The colourful speech, replete with historical references, had churchgoers, including David Beckham, smiling.
Bishop Curry addressed the audience as “brothers and sisters”.
“When love is the way, we will let justice roll down like a mighty stream and righteousness like an ever-flowing brook,” he said, raising his arms.
“When love is the way, poverty will become history. When love is the way, the earth will be a sanctuary.
“When love is the way, we will lay down our swords and shields down by the riverside to study war no more.
“When love is the way, there’s plenty good room, plenty good room for all of god’s children.
“Because when love is the way, we actually treat each other, well, like we’re actually family.”
But Bishop Curry appeared to realise he may have gone on speaking for too long, saying towards the end of the speech that he had better wrap up, as “we gotta get you all married!”
Before the ceremony, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, who is officiating 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”.
Who is Michael Curry?
- He was ordained as a priest in 1978, is the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church and has spoken on issues including social justice, immigration policy and marriage equality
- He most recently campaigned for the creation of family day care providers, educational centres and investment in inner-city neighbourhoods in all three of his parish ministries – North Carolina, Ohio, and Maryland
- In North Carolina, he helped to refocus the church’s development goals to fund malaria nets to save more than 100,000 lives
- Bishop Curry defended the Episcopal Church’s move to allow same sex couples to marry in church in 2015, which caused some churches to cut ties
- The US Episcopal Church is one of only two Anglican churches worldwide that allow gay marriage in church – the other being the Scottish Episcopal Church