Last year, on Palm Sunday, like many other people, we folded our palm leaves into crosses. When I was a child, my mother would place our palm leaves over our picture of The Last Supper that hung in our kitchen. I liked having this year round reminder of Holy Week, so I have continued this particular tradition; see the photo at the end of this post. My husband also started a new tradition that our children really enjoy: the palm leaf cross.
In case you need to know how to make a cross with your palm leaf, you fold the leaf into a cross shape by doubling over the two bars of the cross so that the thinner end does not quite finish, but stops in the middle with some to spare. You then use the remaining length to wrap around the middle of the cross to hold it all together. I hope you can see how they were folded in this close up; I don’t have pictures of the process because my husband folded them during mass.
My daughters really enjoy carrying around their small green crosses every year, but they also wanted a place to display them in their room. So, once the crosses dried, we looked around to see what we could use to keep them standing upright. We found a bag of beads that had once been a bracelet before it broke, poured them into a small mason jar, and nestled the feet of our palm crosses into the beads. For the last year, my girls have had a visual reminder of Good Friday sitting on their dresser.
Any large glass or plastic beads would work, as would pebbles or stones. In fact, Martianne at Training Happy Hearts posted a wonderful nature inspired Calvary Hill, which I hope to make with my children either this year or next year.
I wish I could say that this display has encouraged my daughters to pray more often, but that is something I hope to work on this year. I’m thinking about what we might do with our Palm Sunday crosses this year . . . maybe we’ll glue them onto Easter cards . . . or hang them from a mobile . . .
We are also planning to attend a live Stations of the Cross at our parish on Good Friday this year, so that will give us plenty of opportunity to meditate and discuss the significance of the crucifixion. I may extend that meditation into a writing exercise for my older daughter and myself.
Also, every year I continue my mother’s tradition and place one of the palm leaves above our image of The Last Supper. In the picture below, you can see that the palm leaf has fallen down. This image sits above our kitchen cabinets, and the fallen palm leaf reveals that I don’t get up there as often as I should to clean up.