Monday, March 17, 2008

How to Use Palms on Palm Sunday

Step 1: Attend mass on Palm Sunday. Observing this rite will focus you on the significance of the palm. This also is the easiest way to obtain a palm of your own.

Step 2: Have the palm blessed. A priest will usually do this before the palms are distributed.

Step 3: Take a palm when it is given to you. Hold it carefully so it will not break or tear before you get it home.

Step 4: Take the palm home with you. Observing Palm Sunday doesn't just happen at Mass. Rather, you can continue to observe the first Sunday of Holy Week at home with your palm.

Step 5: Cut off a section of the palm and place it on a crucifix, holy picture or other blessed object in the house. Use the palm frond at home, in the garage or in an outdoor barn or shed if you have it. Many worshipers believe the palm will provide blessings and protection.

Step 6: Offer a portion of your palm as a peace offering to someone with whom you have quarreled in the past. This is a tradition sometimes practiced in Italy.

Step 7: Make a crucifix with the palm and pin it into your lapel. Cut a 3-inch long, half-inch wide piece of palm and put a quarter-inch slash down its middle, 1 inch from the top. Cut a second piece of palm, 2 inches long and a quarter-inch wide. Slide the second piece through the slash to form your cross.

Step 8: Keep the palm instead of throwing it away. Before Easter next year, burn the palm and use those ashes for Ash Wednesday.

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