Definitely a top five moment. The Most Rev. Bishop Michael Bruce Curry, who delivered an impassioned, now-viral, 14-minute sermon at the Royal Wedding, is finally speaking out about his buzzed-about bit of the program at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding inside St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.
The Reverend’s speech was noticeably prolific as he stood at the podium before 600 guests and an estimated billion viewers around the world. The sermon itself included topics ranging from slavery to poverty, a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and a plea for love.
Reverend Michael Curry is the first black leader of the Episcopal Church, and was invited by the bride and groom to preach at their wedding. He addressed members of the congregation and wedding guests as “brothers and sisters.” Throughout Rev. Curry’s sermon, cameras panned to audience reaction, including David Beckham and the Duchess of Cornwall, who were both caught smiling from their respective seats.
On Tuesday, May 22, Bishop Curry told Robin Roberts that church officials were provided with an outline before the wedding day. He also told the Today show that he had “all the permissions” as well as “some sense of blessings” that his delivery was fine.
He did, admit, that he may have slightly gone off the script. “I did provide a copy of the manuscript about a week before I think it was, and I only deviated slightly,” he said on GMA. “I mean, you can’t get a preacher—you’re going to deviate a little bit. But they were basically aware of the basic outline and what was in it. They were very gracious.”
He added that he felt the pre-wedding jitters too. “At first, I must admit to being a little bit nervous at the very beginning—no question about that,” he added to the Today show. “After that, it turned into a church and I was speaking to a young couple who were in love. I mean, they are so passionately in love with each other—you could see it. And I was really aware that their love for each other—that you could actually see when they looked at each other—that their love was actually, even in that moment, reorienting the world around that love. I mean, all of the divisions and all the differences were being crossed, and worlds were coming together and a new world was being created. That’s the power.”
Bishop Curry said he was stunned when his staffers told him that the officer The Archbishop of Canterbury had contacted him initially for the role. “When I realized [he had really called], I said, ‘Well I guess I better call the Archbishop back.’” The Reverend had to conceal the role from basically everyone—including his own wife.
Ultimately, the sermon perpetuated high search volume and a whopping 40,00 tweets a minute.
“There’s power in love. Don’t underestimate it. Don’t even over-sentimentalize it. There’s power, power in love,” the Most Rev. Bishop said at the wedding. “Imagine this tired old world where love is the way. When love is the way—unselfish, sacrificial, redemptive. When love is the way, then no child will go to bed hungry in this world ever again. When love is the way, we will let justice roll down like a mighty stream and righteousness like an ever-flowing brook. 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.”