The Queen has once again celebrated Maundy Thursday virtually this year due to the ongoing national lockdown.
To mark the occasion, Her Majesty has written to this year’s Maundy Recipients who have been recognised by their dioceses for their outstanding contributions to their local church and community life.
Each year, the monarch distributes specially-minted coins to pensioners at the Royal Maundy Service, which is typically held at different Cathedrals and Abbeys across the United Kingdom.
Due to the ongoing restrictions on gatherings of people, the 94-year-old sovereign has instead sent her Maundy Gift via the post alongside a letter.
There are 190 pensioners receiving Maundy Gifts from The Queen this year; one man and one woman for each of Her Majesty’s 95 years. Each recipient receives two purses, one red and one white, which have been blessed by the Sub-Dean at the Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace. This year’s coins have been newly minted to commemorate Her Majesty’s upcoming 95th Birthday, and the 50th anniversary of Decimal Day.
In Her Majesty’s letter to each of this year’s Maundy Recipients, The Queen wrote:
“I am delighted to send you the Maundy Gift which I hope you will accept as an expression of my personal thanks to you for all that you have done to enrich the life of your community.
“On the night before he died, Jesus washed the feet of his Disciples. This was something usually done for guests by a servant of the household. By taking the part of a servant, Jesus set an example to the Disciples and to those who, down through the ages, would try to follow him. He showed us that service for others is at the heart of what it means to be a Christian.
“Each year, at the Royal Maundy Service, we have an opportunity to recognise, and give thanks for, work done by countless people for the wellbeing of their neighbours; work that has often been taken for granted or hidden. The Service this year was to have taken place in Westminster Abbey on Thursday, 1st April. You were to have been one of the Recipients whose Christian service would be recognised on that occasion.
“I am sure you will be sad, as I am, that present circumstances make it impossible for that Service to take place. I hope however that this Maundy Gift will remind you for years to come that your efforts have been truly appreciated.
“My thoughts and prayers are with you and your loved ones.
I” wish you every blessing, and a very happy Easter.