Royal Love

OK, so who DIDN’T watch the wedding, or read about it in the news? Who DIDN’T hear the Most Rev. Michael Curry’s sermon? When the Archbishop of Canterbury characterizes the sermon as “blowing the place open,” when uncomfortable looks appear on the faces of stodgy royals, and when the couple, beaming their tangible love for one another seem caught up in their own ivory castle, just almost consciously ignoring the discomfort they are causing, you know this is a global event. William and Kate’s wedding was a front-liner, of course, because he is in line for the throne, but Harry and Meghan were just a couple of famous people deeply in love, and the world rejoiced with them, in spite of all the ways they were breaking with protocol. For once, “royal” did not mean “predetermined by centuries of crusty tradition.”

Now, I’m not an iconoclast. My Church uses a form of worship that traces right back to the early Church Fathers, and I love a good Episcopalian parade, and the royal couple enacted the traditions in a hundred ways, but this event was more infused with the human. Bishop Curry’s sermon located the event on the human stage, as a sign and symbol of human love as the most powerful force on earth, with the power to transform our world. At once he set Harry and Meghan’s delightful mutual absorption in the context of human love, and human love in the context of global transformation. With a love so wonderful on the human stage in a way royalty alone can achieve, he blessed the couple and challenged us all.

After all, are not all our human loves ultimately intended to be so genuinely human, and therefore in a sense, royal? Is not all love intended for mutual joy AND for world transformation? We will see how Harry and Meghan live up to the blessing and the challenge.

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