UNITED KINGDOM (CBS) — Easter weekend is usually filled with large gatherings at church, Easter egg hunts and families coming together, but coronavirus has changed the traditional celebrations as people continue to isolate themselves indoors. Now, for the first time in her 68 years as Queen of the United Kingdom, Queen Elizabeth II has released an Easter message, sending words of hope throughout the world.
“This year, Easter will be different for many of us, but by keeping apart, we keep others safe. But Easter isn’t canceled. Indeed, we need Easter as much as ever,” the Queen said in her message. “We know that coronavirus will not overcome us. As dark as death can be, particularly for those suffering from grief, light and life are greater. May the living flame of the Easter hope be a steady guide as we face the future.”
The Royal Family tweeted out Queen Elizabeth’s message Saturday, saying, “The Queen speaks of light overcoming darkness, and the hope that Easter symbolizes.”
The Queen noted that her message was not just for Christians, but for all those who take part in celebrations revolving around the hope and faith that light brings.
“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,” Queen Elizabeth said.
“When we gather happily around a source of light, it unites us.”
Earlier this week, the Queen gave a rare television address to the United Kingdom, telling people that as the coronavirus pandemic continues, it is important to practice “self-discipline” in “an increasingly challenging time.”
There are more than 79,800 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United Kingdom, according to Johns Hopkins University, and more than 9,800 deaths.