Michael Curry, bishop who gave sermon at Harry and Meghan's wedding, is now helping people cope amid pandemic
It has been two years since Prince Harry and Meghan tied the knot in an extravagant May 19, 2018, royal ceremony at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle in England. The Royal ceremony ruled headlines for days both before and after the wedding. But one thing that not only grabbed eyeballs but also raised eyebrows was African-American bishop Michael Curry's royal wedding address. Curry was invited by Harry and Meghan to deliver the sermon at their wedding. The emotional 14-minute address attracted not only applauding comments but also mixed reactions.
Titled 'The Power of Love', Curry's speech also carried words of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr, the traditional African-American spiritual 'There Is a Balm in Gilead', New Testament Epistles, and the French Jesuit priest and scientist, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. He also touched upon social issues such as poverty and injustice.
In his sermon, Curry emphasized upon the redemptive potential of love and used fire as a metaphor for its power and significance. "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," he had famously said. "There’s power in love. Love can help and heal when nothing else can. There’s power in love to lift up and liberate when nothing else will."
Curry is the most senior figure in the American Episcopal church -- the first African-American to serve as presiding bishop of the predominantly white US Episcopal church -- and is part of the global Anglican communion. He has noted several times throughout his career about his family history as slaves and sharecroppers in North Carolina and Alabama. He also wrote this in his autobiography 'Songs My Grandma Sang'. He has never shied away from sharing his opinion on current matters, especially about race and religion, and the point where the two coincide.
In 2016, he spoke about the time he was training for his priesthood. After being ordained in 1978, he faced a bitter racial divide among congregations. "The expectation at the time was that if you were a black priest or seminarian, you were going to be serving black churches. There was a black church world and a white church world. That was the given-ness of racism, not that anybody said anything." He had added, "God didn’t make anyone to be a second-class citizen … He says, 'Come unto me all of you.' He didn't limit love. The dude, he got it."
On June 27, 2015, in Salt Lake City, Utah, after serving as a bishop for 15 years, he was elected to the North Carolina church's most senior role at the 78th General Convention of The Episcopal Church. For years, Curry has campaigned against the immigration policy in the US. In North Carolina, he led a campaign to raise $400,000 as funding for malaria nets that saved more that than 100,000 lives, the church's website says.
Where is he now?
Shortly after delivering his very electric sermon at the royal wedding, Curry announced on July 25, 2018, that he would be undergoing surgery for prostate cancer a week later. "I am happy to say that the prognosis looks very good and quite positive," he had announced in a release. "I have spoken with several others who have gone through this, and who have offered both encouragement and helpful advice. I will be in the hospital for at least a day, then at home to recuperate," he said.
Bishop Michael Curry is currently the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church (United States). He currently features in Season 3 of The Episcopal Church’s podcast 'The Way of Love with Bishop Michael Curry' hosted by Sandy Milien. The podcast presents weekly conversations with a variety of guests from the field of faith leaders, authors, and thinkers. Topics "center on ways to live a life committed to living the way of God’s unconditional, unselfish, sacrificial and redemptive love."
He is also offering 'Habits of Grace', a "weekly meditation to help Episcopalians cope during the Covid-19 pandemic."