There’s little doubt that the Most Reverend Michael Curry had everyone hooked during the wedding ceremony of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on Saturday.
Barely looking at the transcript of his speech on a tablet in front of him, the African-American bishop electrified the wedding with a 14-minute, barnstorming sermon on the power of love that won smiles in the ancient British chapel and praise across the internet.
Here are the best quotes:
1. “There’s power in love. If you don’t believe me, think about the first time you fell in love. The whole world seemed to centre around you and your beloved.”
2. “For love it is strong as death. But love is not only about a young couple. Now the power of love is demonstrated by the fact that we’re all here. Two young people fell in love and we all showed up.”
3. “Love God, love your neighbours and while you’re at it love yourself.”
4. “Jesus did not get an honorary doctorate for dying.”
5. “Imagine business and commerce when love is the way, imagine this old and tired world when love is the way. When love is the way - unselfish, sacrificial, redemptive, when love is the way then no child will go to bed hungry in this world every again... When love is the way poverty will become history. When love is the way the earth will become sanctuary... When love is the way, we treat each other like we are actually family.”
6. “The harnessing of fire was one of the great technological discoveries in all of human history. Fire, to a great extent, made all of human civilisation possible.
“Fire makes it possible for use to text and tweet and email and Instagram and Facebook and socially be dysfunctional with each other. Fire makes all of that possible.”
7. By the end, he was referring to Harry and Meghan as “my brother, my sister,” and telling them “we got to get you all married”.
Curry was born in Chicago in 1953 and went on to become the bishop of North Carolina.
At his installation at the head if the Episcopal church in 2015, he called for economic and racial unity at a time of rising racial tensions.
The Episcopal Church – the US arm of the Anglican Communion which also includes the Church of England, headed by the Queen – has taken a strongly liberal stand on social issues, including gay marriage which it allows.
Curry, the first black head of the Episcopal Church in the United States, started the address by quoting civil rights hero Dr Martin Luther King and powered on citing spirituals, medieval poetry and the experiences of slaves in the American south.