Guest preacher Rev. Michael Bruce Curry’s sermon this past Saturday at the royal wedding brought some American flavor to a very English service.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle handpicked Curry to address the guests at their wedding. Curry is the first black leader of the Episcopal Church back in the states.
The sermon on the theme of love was full of energy and quotes not only from the Bible but from MLK Jr. and African-American spirituals as well. It was a change from the usual Anglican style that has been familiar to the royal family.
Many wedding guests were surprised and delighted at this less than traditional twist to the wedding.
Curry, like Markle’s mother, had African ancestors who were slaves in The United States. He said that even during those dark days, love helped those captive persevere. His sermon touched on poverty and inequality as well as the healing power that love has.
The Royal Wedding Ceremony Gets an Update despite Typically Traditional Services
At one point, Curry strayed from his prepared speech, causing the soon-to-be-wed couple to exchange quick glances. Camilla and Kate, Duchesses of Cornwall and Cambridge also shared a quick look during this time. Queen Elizabeth II, however, stayed as stoic as ever through the entire ceremony.
The spiritual home of many in America including the founding fathers and U.S. presidents past, the Church of England is a parent church of the Episcopal Church.
Although, there has been some friction caused between the Greater Anglican Communion and the Episcopal church after the latter’s support of gay marriage. Despite any opposing beliefs, Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby stated before the ceremony that he was eager to see Curry’s preaching at the service.
Based on Common Worship, the most modern option given by the Church of England, the sermon included prayers, hymns, and readings or musical selections chosen by the couple and their families.
The mix of American And British elements included a London-based gospel ensemble the Kingdom Choir. They performed renditions of “Stand By Me,” by Ben E. King and “Amen/This Little Light of Mine” by Etta James.
Teen cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason amazed the crowd of 600 with his songs such as “Ave Maria”. He won BBC’s Young Musician of the Year back in 2016 as the first black musician to do so.