Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II on Sunday, 12 April, issued an Easter message from Windsor Castle to say that the festival marking the resurrection of Jesus Christ is needed as much as ever to remind the world that we will not be overcome by the coronavirus pandemic.
In the first such message of its kind, the 93-year-old monarch and head of the Church of England, said the occasion marks new hope and fresh purpose, with the forces of light and life overcoming those of darkness and death.
“We know that coronavirus will not overcome us. As dark as death can be particularly for those suffering with grief light and life are greater, said the Queen. May the living flame of the Easter hope be a steady guide as we face the future. I wish everyone of all faiths and denominations a blessed Easter.”Queen Elizabeth II
Amid the ongoing semi-lockdown and social distancing measures imposed to try and curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, the Queen stressed that it did not have to mean that the occasion is not properly marked.
“This year, Easter will be different for many of us, but by keeping apart we keep others safe. But Easter isn’t cancelled; indeed, we need Easter 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,” she said.
In reference to other religious faiths which also have references of the triumph of light over darkness, she added, “Many religions have festivals which celebrate light overcoming darkness. Such occasions are often accompanied by the lighting of candles. They seem to speak to every culture, and appeal to people of all faiths, and of none. They are lit on birthday cakes and to mark family anniversaries, when we gather happily around a source of light. It unites us.”
“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.”
The Easter message follows the Queen’s address to the nation recently in which she spoke of the strength of the British and those around the Commonwealth as she urged them to remember: We will meet again.
The Buckingham Palace said her special Easter message was intended for those who are celebrating Easter privately.
The Queen’s son and heir, Prince Charles, has recorded an Easter reading for Westminster Abbey’s podcast and her grandson and second in line to the British throne, Prince William, sent an Easter message to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in his role as Lord High Commissioner.
In a letter, the Duke of Cambridge said it was heartening to see how the Church of Scotland was reinventing itself to serve congregations from afar.
“I have no doubt that this support, as well as other means of offering help, is hugely appreciated at this extremely challenging time, particularly by the elderly, vulnerable, those economically affected and of course those who have so tragically lost family and friends”, he said.
(The article has been published in arrangement with PTI)