When I was a kid, I had noticed a classmate making a palm cross from a palm frond on Palm Sunday. I eagerly tried to make my own. Besides, what am I going to do while I wait for the procession to start? But my creations always fell to pieces.
I took that as a challenge. Many years passed before I could produce crosses with two fronds. It worked, but the arms would never stay in place.
On a Palm Sunday in Corpus Christi, the parish bulletin provided instructions to make a palm cross from a single frond. This intrigued me. I learned the technique and started producing stable palm crosses. Yay!
(You can search for palm crosses on YouTube if you want to make one. But I haven’t found a video that followed the instructions from that parish bulletin.)
Children saw me one year making one and asked me one for them. I made a few before the priest began the liturgy. I regretted not teaching them how to make one.
This year, my fellow postulants attended the Palm Sunday Mass at St. Joseph in Somerville. I saw a stack of palms. I picked up two fronds and created two crosses. After Mass, I returned the crosses to the stack because it’s better to share than to keep them.
The mother of one of my CCD students came up to me and asked me to make some. I had thought that nobody saw me making them. I produced a few for her and taught her daughter how to make them.
Before the evening Mass at St. Clement, I wanted to take a picture of my creations. I stood by the palm table and started making palm crosses. A few parishioners picked up the crosses. Most went for the regular fronds. But I did manage to create enough for this picture.
I continued to make some more. Then one of the parishioners saw me and asked me to teach him. His friend joined in my lesson and she made a perfect cross.
If people can become more engaged with the Palm Sunday liturgy with these crosses, then I’m content. We must remember that Jesus entered Jerusalem with palm branches, but he took away all our sins by dying on the cross.