After celebrating Palm Sunday, parishioners return home with several palms and are often unsure how to properly display or otherwise hold onto them.
Because these palms are sacramentals, they cannot be thrown away. They must either be burned or buried to be disposed of correctly. Many are returned to the church to be burned and used for ashes next Ash Wednesday. There is another option for those who want to something different with the palms to serve as a reminder of Jesus’s triumphant ride into Jerusalem and the start of Holy Week.
This is where the ancient art of palm weaving comes in. This tradition originated in the tropics, where palm leaves grow, and many cultures have long used these leaves to create different religious and decorative items. Today, many Catholics young and old practice this hobby.
While the result is beautiful and may look very complex, there are actually a number of very simple designs that even beginners can try.
Before you begin, there is one important thing to remember: the palms must be shaped while they are still green and bendable. Once they’re dry, they will be too difficult to work with. To keep them green a bit longer, you can put them in water for a few days to keep them fresh.