African-American Preacher Steals The Show At Royal Wedding
African-American preacher Michael Curry invoked the image of Martin Luther King Jr as he brought a flavour of the bride's homeland to the royal wedding.
Bishop Michael Curry, the first black presiding bishop and primate of the Episcopal Church, gave an address titled the Power of Love at the service in St George's Chapel, Windsor.
The Chicago native opened his energetic speech with the words of Dr King, a devout Christian whose faith shaped his struggle against racial injustice in the US, hailing his views on love as "right".
"We must discover the power of love, the redemptive power of love. And when we discover that, we will be able to make of this old world a new world. Love is the only way," Bishop Curry quoted.
The bishop's words rose in a passionate crescendo as he spoke of the link between love and the divine, his style a stark contrast to the sober delivery of the Archbishop of Canterbury, who was officiating.
For the royal family, the animated performance would be a departure from the type of sermons they normally see at church services.
At times several of the congregation could be seen smiling and exchanging glances. Zara Tindell, daughter of Princess Anne and cousin to Prince Harry, gave one of the more expressive responses to the enthusiastic address.
The wide-ranging address cited love as the key to curing global problems such as poverty.
In a moment of light self-deprecation, Bishop Curry noted he had to soon sit down, gesturing to the couple and adding "we need to get y'all married".
The address finished: "My brother, my sister, God love you, God bless you.
"And may God hold us all in those almighty hands of love."
The Archbishop of Canterbury had previously described Bishop Curry as "a brilliant pastor, stunning preacher and someone with a great gift for sharing the good news of Jesus Christ".
He was asked by the couple to perform the address despite not being personally known to them.
The Episcopal Church is the US offshoot of the Church of England and forms part of the broader Anglican Communion.