Who to get to preach at your wedding? Probably whoever is performing the ceremony. But what if you’re Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and you’ve got the world at your feet? (Not to mention millions clamoring for any gossip about a royal wedding.)
In an inspired choice, they’ve asked an American (like Meghan), the head of the Episcopal Church, Bishop Michael Curry.
No, he won’t be doing the ceremony. He’ll be doing something even more important. Reminding the wedded couple what true love is about.
Bishop Curry hinted at his sermon topic in a statement. “The love that has brought and will bind Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle together has its source and origin in God,” he said, “and is the key to life and happiness.”
Usually the minister to speak at such a ceremony would be an English prelate. Not with this couple. Although the Episcopal Church is part of the Anglican Communion, headed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, it is decidedly American, owing its origins to those post-Revolutionary days.
Michael Curry is the first African-American leader of the denomination, elected in 2015. He is a thrilling preacher and charismatic leader. “Someone with a great gift for sharing the good news of Jesus Christ” is how Justin Welby, the current Archbishop of Canterbury put it.
What I love about Michael Curry is that he’s a truth teller. He doesn’t just stand on ceremony, even when he’s decked out in the heavy brocaded robes of his position. Take this, a quote from his book Crazy Christians: A Call to Follow Jesus:
“Being a Christian is not essentially about joining a church or being a nice person, but about following in the footsteps of Jesus, taking his teaching seriously, letting his Spirit take the lead in our lives, and in so doing helping to change the world from our nightmare into God’s dream.”
I’ll be tuning in to listen to inspired preaching like that. Even if it is 5 a.m. on a Saturday.
Watch Bishop Curry’s sermon at the royal wedding: