Every year on the Thursday before Easter, the ruler on the British throne rewards people over 70 years with specially-minted coins known as Maundy money- named for the day in the Christian calendar. The tradition has been followed for centuries without any fail, despite wars and other adverse circumstances.

However, as coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc across the globe, the annual gathering which honours the pensioners – a man and a woman for each year of the Sovereign's life recognising their service to their churches and communities, will be cancelled for the first time.

Even though Queen Elizabeth II won't be able to hold the ceremony at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle, she found a way to honour the senior citizens with Maundy money. Instead of handing them the coins in person, the British monarch has sent the money in small presentations to the 188 people who were supposed to receive the amount at the annual ceremony.

Today is Maundy Thursday ⛪️. At the annual Royal Maundy Service, The Queen distributes specially-minted money to pensioners from across the UK.

The service commemorates Jesus washing the feet of the Apostles at the Last Supper. pic.twitter.com/ZuagewMVRg

— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) April 9, 2020

The 93-year-old, who is in self-isolation at the Windsor castle, sent the gift in ceremonial red and white leather purses by Royal Mail. Apart from the ceremonial coin, the purses carried a letter from the queen that read: "I have great pleasure in sending you the Maundy Gift which, unfortunately, I am unable to distribute to you personally at the Royal Maundy Service in St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, on Thursday, 9th April. This ancient Christian ceremony, which reflects Jesus's instruction to his Disciples to love one another, is a call to the service of others, something that has been at the centre of my life. I believe it is a call to service for all of us."

View this post on Instagram

“𝑰 𝒂𝒎 𝒔𝒆𝒏𝒅𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝑴𝒂𝒖𝒏𝒅𝒚 𝒈𝒊𝒇𝒕 𝒕𝒐 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒏𝒌 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝑪𝒉𝒓𝒊𝒔𝒕𝒊𝒂𝒏 𝑺𝒆𝒓𝒗𝒊𝒄𝒆. 𝑰 𝒌𝒏𝒐𝒘 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒚𝒐𝒖, 𝒂𝒔 𝒂 𝑹𝒆𝒄𝒊𝒑𝒊𝒆𝒏𝒕 𝒐𝒇 𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒚𝒆𝒂𝒓’𝒔 𝑴𝒂𝒖𝒏𝒅𝒚 𝑮𝒊𝒇𝒕, 𝒘𝒊𝒍𝒍 𝒃𝒆 𝒂𝒔 𝒅𝒆𝒆𝒑𝒍𝒚 𝒅𝒊𝒔𝒂𝒑𝒑𝒐𝒊𝒏𝒕𝒆𝒅 𝒂𝒔 𝑰 𝒂𝒎 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒊𝒕 𝒊𝒔 𝒏𝒐𝒕 𝒈𝒐𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒂𝒉𝒆𝒂𝒅, 𝒘𝒉𝒊𝒍𝒆 𝒖𝒏𝒅𝒆𝒓𝒔𝒕𝒂𝒏𝒅𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒏𝒆𝒄𝒆𝒔𝒔𝒂𝒓𝒚 𝒅𝒆𝒄𝒊𝒔𝒊𝒐𝒏 𝒊𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒄𝒖𝒓𝒓𝒆𝒏𝒕 𝒄𝒊𝒓𝒄𝒖𝒎𝒔𝒕𝒂𝒏𝒄𝒆𝒔.” . 📸Thomas Brock, aged 101, is the oldest active bell-ringer in the world and the oldest recipient of Maundy money this year. He has rung the bells at his local church, St Mary’s, Sunbury-on-Thames, since the age of 7. . 🖌Her Majesty The Queen has written to all 188 recipients of this year’s Maundy money, in place of today’s Royal Maundy Service. Recipients have also been sent their Maundy Gifts in the post. ▶️ Swipe right to read Her Majesty’s letter. Every year on Maundy Thursday, The Queen distributes specially-minted money to pensioners from across the UK. These individuals are normally over 70, and are nominated by their local dioceses for their outstanding contributions to their local church and community life. This year the purses were instead blessed at the Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace, some weeks ago before being posted to recipients alongside the letter from Her Majesty. . ▶️▶️▶️📸 It is our hope that this will give recipients a chance to mark the special occasion from their homes instead. Pictured here with their Gifts this week are Hilary, Jane, Jim and Trevor, Judith, Jane and Philip. Visit our stories for more on the Royal Maundy Service tradition.

A post shared by The Royal Family (@theroyalfamily) on

The monarch said she considers the ceremony one of her most rewarding duties as a Sovereign, and added: "I know that you, as a Recipient of this year's Maundy Gift, will be as deeply disappointed as I am that it is not going ahead, while understanding the necessary decision in the current circumstances."

"However, this should not mean your invaluable contribution within the community goes unnoticed, and I am sending this Maundy Gift to thank you for your Christian service," the mother-of-four wrote, adding best wishes to the recipients for Easter.

The Maundy coins are legal tender in principle, like Scottish banknotes, but seldom in practice, and thus are more valuable to collectors than to shopkeepers. The annual service reportedly began in 600AD and the special coins have kept much the same form for the last three and a half centuries, reports Yorkshire Post.

Queen Elizabeth II Presents Traditional Maundy Money to UK Pensioners
Britain's Queen Elizabeth stands on the steps of York Minster with Prince Philip, Princess Beatrice (centre row R) and the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, after the Maundy Service in York, northern England April 5, 2012. Reuters

The coins still bear the portrait of the monarch that was designed for her coronation in 1953, but the image on ordinary coins has changed four times since.