“Could you make me one?”

Before the liturgy on Palm Sunday, I was greeting the people and handing out palms at the women’s correctional facility.  Some free time allowed me to do my favorite Palm Sunday activity: making palm crosses with a single palm frond.  A woman saw me with one and asked, “Could you make me one?”  Another request followed and then another and another.  This seemed very familiar, doesn’t it?  This happened to me two years ago.

palm crosses
When I’m in a roll, I can make palm crosses very quickly.

This year, I announced after Mass that I would give a quick palm cross workshop before the weekly sacraments class.  Four women joined Br. Leland and me for the workshop.  I demonstrated how to make the cross.  How did it go?  I enjoyed every moment.  The participants were helping one another.  I adjusted my instruction depending on each person’s level of ability.  Everybody’s palm crosses came out well.

Two years ago, I couldn’t find a YouTube video that replicated the method I had learned.  This year, I found plenty.  A 2015 video by the Arlington Catholic Herald illustrates one way of making palm crosses closest to the method I use.

I will be able to improve my crosses next year by using some of the tips I learned from the video.  If you have any palms, try making some crosses yourself.

Remember that your blessed palms and palm crosses are sacramentals.  (Learn about sacramentals here.)  The best place for your palms is tucked behind a crucifix on a wall.  The palms serve as a year-round reminder of Christ’s victory over death and sin.  Before Lent, you can drop them off at your parish so they can be burned to make ashes for Ash Wednesday.

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