Michael Curry, who once gained fame for referring to “crazy Christians,” and who has focused on racial justice, gave an unusually animated sermon for a Royal Wedding. You can watch the sermon in full here in case you missed it (or just want to watch it again.)
Curry delivered the sermon at the Royal Wedding between Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle. The reactions in the audience ranged from slight laughter to stoic or awkward gazes. On social media, though, they were absolutely loving Curry’s lively message of love, captured by the phrase “love is the way” and sprinkled with quotes from the likes of Martin Luther King Jr. For the most part. Some people made fun of aspects of it, while other people lavished Curry with praise.
You can see some more of the best Twitter GIFS, memes, and reactions to the Michael Curry sermon throughout this article.
He spoke a lot about fire. Yes, fire.
Curry, who also goes by the name of Michael Bruce Curry, is an American leader of the Episcopal Church who resides in Chicago, Illinois. Although the selection breaks with royal tradition, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, who will also preside over the wedding service, praised Curry on Twitter, writing, “I’m thrilled that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have asked Bishop Michael Curry to preach at their wedding. @PB_Curry is a brilliant pastor, stunning preacher and someone with a great gift for sharing the good news of Jesus Christ.”
Some people enjoyed the faces of the Royals and celebrities during the sermon.
According to Anglican News.org, “The US-based Episcopal Church is the oldest independent Anglican province outside the British Isles. When European travelers first colonized what is now the United States of America, they took with them clergy from European Churches, including the Church of England.”
“This bishop is a tireless advocate for people on the margins,” said Adam Shoemaker, a church rector, to The News-Observer. Curry gave a fiery and passionate sermon that earned some fans on Twitter. “Love is the way,” was his core phrase. “Dr. King was right. We need to discover love. The redemptive power of love. And when we do that, we will make of this old world a new world,” he said during the wedding in what was an unusually dramatic and lengthy sermon for a Royal Wedding.
According to CNN, Michael Bruce Curry is the first black leader of the Episcopal Church in America. He first became known because of a sermon he gave that referred to “crazy Christians.”
That 2012 sermon came when Curry was bishop in North Carolina and, according to CNN, he “quoted several versions of the Bible characterizing Jesus as someone who was thought to be out of his mind,” and said, “They thought he was crazy! And he was! He is!…And those who would follow in his footsteps, those who would be his disciples, are called and summoned and challenged to be just as crazy as Jesus.”
“An approachable man and a charismatic preacher, he also uses Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo and the diocese’s website to advocate for social justice and racial and gender equality, and to encourage congregations undertaking that work,” The News Observer reported.
CNN reports that the sermon was later turned into a book. On his Twitter page, Michael Curry describes himself as “27th Presiding Bishop of @IAmEpiscopalian. Following Jesus into a loving, liberating, and life-giving relationship with God, each other, and with the earth.”
Bishop Curry is outspoken on social causes, such as immigration policy and marriage equality, his Episcopal Church biography says. “In his three parish ministries in North Carolina, Ohio, and Maryland, Presiding Bishop Curry had extensive involvement in Crisis Control Ministry, the founding of ecumenical summer day camps for children, preaching missions, the Absalom Jones initiative, creation of networks of family day care providers, creation of educational centers, and the brokering of millions of dollars of investment in inner city neighborhoods,” according to his Episcopal Church biography.
The New York Times described him as a “gay marriage backer.”
The church biography notes that Michael Bruce Curry is married to wife Sharon Clement. The couple has two daughters, Rachel and Elizabeth.
Curry lives in Chicago, Illinois, and he has roots in that city. Meghan Markle also has ties to the Windy City because she once attended Northwestern University there. In his autobiography, My Grandma Sang, Curry revealed “that his family are descended from slaves and sharecroppers in North Carolina and Alabama,” The Guardian reports.