Queen Elizabeth II of England 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 cancelled, 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.”
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.