Bishop Michael Curry was without a doubt one of the standout moments of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's grandiose royal wedding.
Curry's bold sermon Saturday set social media ablaze for its passionate words and unapologetic blackness, which likely left the royal family a little shook, too.
Invoking the words of civil rights icon, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Curry preached in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle about the importance of love in all things that we do.
“Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is strong as death, passion fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, a raging flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it," he said to the royal wedding attendees. “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.”
"When love is the way, there is plenty of room, plenty of room for all of god's children. Because when love is the way, we actually treat each other well, like we are actually family," Rev. Michael Bruce Curry says during powerful sermon. #RoyalWedding
— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 19, 2018
[WATCH] Bishop Michael Curry preaches love at the #RoyalWedding. Courtesy #DStv403
— eNCA (@eNCA) May 19, 2018
Bishop Michael Curry quotes Martin Luther King: “We must discover the power of love, the power, the redemptive power of love. And when we discover that we will be able to make of this old world a new world." #royalwedding
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) May 19, 2018
The Chicago native, who rose up the ranks as a preacher to become the leader of the Episcopal Church in the United States, took the royals, Hollywood celebrities, and politicians off guard when he went on to mention slavery in his sermon as well.
“I’m talking about some power. Real power,” he continued. “Power to change the world. If you don’t believe me, well, there were some old slaves in America’s antebellum South who explained the dynamic power of love and why it has the power to transform. They explained it this way: They sang a spiritual, even in the midst of their captivity. It’s one that says there is a balm in Gilead, a healing balm — something that can make things right. There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole.”
There was definitely no avoiding the looks on the royal wedding guests' faces upon this unexpected portion of Curry's speech.
Royal family at the end of Rev Curry's sermon #royalwedding
— tom jamieson (@jamiesont) May 19, 2018
A great moment during the #RoyalWedding: When @PB_Curry had the royals giggling during what was a very "un-British" sermon. ????#RoyalThisMorning ???????? pic.twitter.com/M9NKcQfev6
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) May 19, 2018
Watching the royals watch American Bishop Michael Curry has become an unexpected highlight of this #RoyalWedding. This man is fantastic. pic.twitter.com/U8w3vWOyoV
— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) May 19, 2018
favorite part of the wedding was the royal's reaction to Rev. Michael Curry. I know y'all go to church all the time but you've never really been preached to lmaoo pic.twitter.com/exBqJ01gPk
— Leah Eliopulos (@LeahEliopulos) May 19, 2018
I don't think Bishop Michael Curry's sermon was for the people in that room. I think it was for the rest of us. #RoyalWedding
— Caroline O. (@RVAwonk) May 19, 2018
The English played an instrumental role in the slave trade. The wealth that the British royal family enjoys today likely comes from the revenue made by enslaved West Africans toiling away in the New World for free. Curry's sermon reminded the chapel that those slaves' faith — their love for God — kept them alive.
Twitter took notice of how important Curry's words were at this moment, too.
A black reverend preaching to British royalty about the resilience of faith during slavery is 10000000% not what I thought I was waking up for, the royal wedding is good
— Elamin Abdelmahmoud (@elamin88) May 19, 2018
Talking after Rev Curry must be like trying to sing after Beyonce at this point. They should have let him do the whole thing. #RoyalWedding
— Djamfo Jane (@claraamfo) May 19, 2018
Bishop Curry is looking at Harry like "Act right" & now Stand By Me? Meghan just told the world who her people are no matter what. This is gorgeous #RoyalWedding
— Your favorite problematic fave (@Karnythia) May 19, 2018
In 1619, the first captive Africans arrived in the British colony of Jamestown, Virginia. 399 years later, a descendant of African-American slaves and sharecroppers from North Carolina and Alabama delivered the sermon at a British #RoyalWedding. pic.twitter.com/HYe0CePPqJ
— Anand Giridharadas (@AnandWrites) May 19, 2018
After his words rang throughout the chapel, the Kingdom Choir full of black Brits sang a rendition of Ben E. King's "Stand By Me."
Karen Gibson and @TheKingdomChoir sing "Stand by me" from the West End of the Chapel #RoyalWedding
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) May 19, 2018