“Set me as a seal upon your heart”, and with that statement, Bishop Michael Curry started a sermon that stood out in a zone of its own, at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. His sermon on ‘Love’ was impassioned, fiery, inspiring. As he spoke, I found myself sitting up just a little straighter, listening more intently than I had thought I would. Then I watched it again. And again.
I found it that powerful. I found it to hold that much meaning. I felt it was that important.
I found myself cringing though, at the reactions of the royals and notables – the grimaces and grins, the pursed up lips, side-eyes, and what nots. Clearly the ‘nabobs’ were amused and struggling to keep a straight face. I couldn’t figure out why.
Talking of love in a world that desperately needs it, demands passion, demands strong expression, demands ‘fire’. There is nothing to be ashamed of, amused about, or cringe over, when a preacher reminds his flock of the need to love – God, your neighbor, each other – and says it with all the impetus that this message deserves. The good Bishop was vociferous, he was bold, he was loud, and he clearly spoke from the heart. In doing so, he took a fairly routine and dull ceremony (for all its Royal connections and glamorous connotations) to an event that will remain memorable to many, beyond the wedded couple and their close friends and family. Harry and Meghan should consider this a gift, one that truly sums up why so many strangers across the globe are truly happy for them – theirs is a love story that inspires immense hope, and this world needs a lot of hope right now!
I think I sound a bit like the Bishop now, but that’s okay because I really felt moved, by the sermon and the reactions, and by the occasion itself and all that it has the potential to be. I wasn’t amused at all, but deeply disturbed – the congregation consisted of people with the power to do so much good, but their reactions simply didn’t match up to the expectations that their status places on their shoulders today.
Anyone can cut a check and support a charity, but to walk through landmines and hold hands with the sick, hug the ugly, and comfort the truly destitute, that rare quality was what set Princess Diana apart. I am reasonably confident that had she been in attendance yesterday, we would have seen her leaning forward, chin in hand, intent in expression and with solemn eyes, truly affected by Bishop Curry’s sermon, not amused by it. She was the ‘People’s Princess’ not because she dressed well and was extremely pretty, but because she was genuine and real, she truly cared and was not afraid to show it.
One might argue that this was a wedding and not the right platform for a sermon such as the one given by Bishop Curry. Sure, but then this should have been kept a private event. The new Duke and Duchess of Sussex are a statement couple by themselves, and televising their wedding live automatically elevated the event from a royal wedding to one that is much greater in meaning and symbolism. If the fact of this marriage and the transatlantic, non traditional elements in the ceremony, are a symbol of sorts, this sermon is the proverbial cherry on the cake.
That there were those who were ‘royally amused’, especially amongst the younger royals, is disquieting and disturbing. I, for one, am not amused.
The complete sermon can be watched here : https://youtu.be/fTMWJU9Nafk