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Barbara Rolek

The Art of Palm Weaving

By April 14, 2014

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Palm Sunday has come and gone, and we are one step closer to Easter Sunday.
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Scott P. Richert, About.com's Guide to Catholicism, says, "The faithful have traditionally decorated their houses with the palms from Palm Sunday, and, in many countries, a custom developed of weaving the palms into crosses that were placed on home altars or other places of prayer."

In my own home, the blessed palms were simply placed behind pictures of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary that hung in the living room of my Polish home. My mother and grandmothers never braided or wove their palms and I never learned this lovely art.

I plan to try some designs with the palms I brought home from Mass yesterday. Here's a palm-weaving tutorial I'm going to use. And here is a video showing how to make a square braid. Remember, since the palms have been blessed, any extras you have after attempting weaving (or any dried palms from last year) should not simply be discarded. Instead they should be returned to the church in the weeks before Lent, to be burned and used as the ashes for Ash Wednesday.

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