Plant-Lore

Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

Palm Sunday 2018 – 1

Posted on by royvickery |

Attended a morning service at St James’s Roman Catholic Church, Spanish Place, London, W1.  Dried palm fronds decorated the sanctuary, and most of the congregation carried palm crosses, which were available from the back of the church.  Later a procession assembled in Manchester Mews, behind church, and people returned to the church.  According to a leaflet, How to Celebrate Holy Week, produced by OurSundayVisitor in Huntington, Indiana, apparently in 2006, and available in the church:

‘What Do You Do with a Blessed Palm?   Many display the palms received at this liturgy behind a crucifix or religious picture in their home.  It is traditional for some to weave the palms into the form of a cross [this had already been done to the palms available to the congregation].  An old Italian custom worth reviving is to present your palm to someone you have offended as a sign of reconciliation.’

Traditionally Palm Sunday palms were burnt to provide ashes for Ash Wednesday the following year.  The March 2018 of the Westminster Record, a monthly newspaper produced by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Westminster, contained a photograph of palm crosses being burnt, with the caption: ‘Burning of last year’s palms in preparation for Ash Wednesday Mass.’

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