Queen Elizabeth II spoke of the hope of Christ in a first-ever Easter address amid unusual circumstances for many Christians in that many were unable to attend church due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As darkness falls on the Saturday before Easter Day, many Christians would normally light candles together. In church, one light would pass to another, spreading slowly and then more rapidly as more candles are lit. It’s a way of showing how the good news of Christ’s resurrection has been passed on from the first Easter by every generation until now,” she said.
“This year, Easter will be different for many of us, but by keeping apart we keep others safe.”
Yet Easter is not canceled, she added, it is needed as much as ever.
“The discovery of the risen Christ on the first Easter Day gave his followers new hope and fresh purpose, and we can all take heart from this. We know that coronavirus will not overcome us,” she said.
“As dark as death can be — particularly for those suffering with grief — light and life are greater. May the living flame of the Easter hope be a steady guide as we face the future.”
Last Sunday, in another rare address, the queen spoke specifically about the COVID-19 pandemic that has besieged the world, killing over 116,000 people so far and infecting over 1.8 million around the world, particularly in Europe, and the ongoing response to the disease outbreak.
“Together we are tackling this disease, and I want to reassure you that if we remain united and resolute, then we will overcome it. I hope in the years to come everyone will be able to take pride in how they responded to this challenge, and those who come after us will say the Britons of this generation were as strong as any, that the attributes of self-discipline, of quiet, good-humored resolve, and of fellow feeling still characterize this country. The pride in who we are is not a part of our past, it defines our present and our future,” the queen said.
“Across the Commonwealth and around the world, we have seen heartwarming stories of people coming together to help others, be it through delivering food parcels and medicines, checking on neighbors, or converting businesses to help the relief effort. And though self-isolating may at times be hard, many people of all faiths and of none are discovering that it presents an opportunity to slow down, pause and reflect in prayer or meditation.”
Queen Elizabeth first ascended to the throne in 1952. She is England’s longest-serving monarch since Queen Victoria, her great-great-grandmother. She is the longest-serving female head of state in world history, surpassing Queen Victoria’s reign on Sept. 9, 2015.
The queen will turn 94 next week.