Bishop Michael Curry royal wedding sermon

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WATCH: Bishop Michael Curry Quotes MLK, Slave Spiritual in Royal Wedding Sermon

May 21, 2018

By Erin Thibeau

The American Episcopalian bishop Michael Curry broke with tradition at the Royal Wedding on Saturday – quoting Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., referencing a slave spiritual, and emphasizing the power of Christian love in the roughly 13-minute homily for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.

Customarily, only British priests are asked to preside over royal occasions, Vox points out, making the presence of a black American at the pulpit in St. George's Chapel powerfully symbolic. Vox also notes that his theologically-driven sermon stands apart from those of the Church of England, which has "often been accused of being religiously disengaged."

Curry began with a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: "We must discover the power of love, the redemptive power of love. And when we do that, we will make of this old world a new world; for love, love is the only way."

He spoke at length about the power of love. “I'm talking about some power, real power, power to change the world," he said. "If you don't believe me there were some old slaves in America's South who explained the power of love."

“They sang a spiritual even in the midst of their captivity. It's the one that says there's a balm in Gilead, a healing balm," Curry continued.

"When love is the way the earth will become a sanctuary. When love is the way we will lay down our swords and shields down by the riverside to study war no more. When love is the way there’s plenty good room, plenty good room for all of God’s children," he prayed.

Watch the full sermon below. Or, read the transcript via Washington Post.

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