Bishop Michael Curry presided over the funeral service for President George H.W. Bush Wednesday at the National Cathedral.
This was the latest high-profile event that Curry has officiated. Most notable was the Royal Wedding in May, when he delivered a passionate sermon at the union of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. And, as USA Today reported, he also spoke at the September funeral of Sen. John McCain.
As the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal church, Curry was selected to speak at the former president’s funeral in Washington D.C. by the Bush family, according to the Episcopal News Service.
In addition to leading the congregation in a reading of the Apostle’s Creed, Curry delivered a prayer for Bush.
“With faith in Jesus Christ, we receive the body of our brother George for burial,” Curry said at Wednesday’s service, People reported. “Let us pray with confidence to God, the giver of life, that he will raise them to perfection in the company of saints. Deliver your servant George, Sovereign Lord Christ, from all evil, and set him free from every bond that he may rest with all your saints in the eternal habitations where, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, you live and reign, one God, forever and ever.”
Prior to the service, Curry released a statement where he praised the 41st President of the U.S.
“Through his enduring commitment to public service and his steadfast devotion to his family, he lived the way of Jesus through a life shaped by faith, hope and, above all, love,” Curry said in statement shared by the Episcopal News Service. “President Bush will be an enduring reminder that virtues like kindness, gentleness and goodness are among the things that truly endure, and that chart the way to our living as the human family of God.”
It was more somber than his sermon at the Royal Wedding, when Curry “left his mark on the millions watching around the world,” the News & Observer reported. In that service, that was internationally broadcast, Curry compared love to fire, quoted Martin Luther King Jr. and cited U.S. history.
While the world is getting more familiar with Curry, he is well in known in North Carolina.
Curry became Bishop of the North Carolina Diocese in 2000, the News & Observer reported, serving there until he was “elected the 27th Bishop of The Episcopal Church in 2015.”
Curry was the first African American to be elected bishop of the Episcopal Church, the News & Observer reported, and has used his role to address issues such as poverty, immigration and marriage equality.
In July, Curry had surgery on his prostate after a cancer diagnosis, according to the News & Observer. At the time, he said “the prognosis looks very good and quite positive.”