Sunday, April 5, 2009
Celebrating Palm Sunday
My childhood remembrances of Palm Sunday are special. I recall the excitement of getting the blessed palm leaves, which were so different from the leaves found on trees around our Midwestern home. It was fun to carry and wave them in church, then bring them home and weave them into little crosses which were tacked up above the door in our bedroom. And there was the excitement of knowing that next week would be Easter Sunday!
I thought I would share some other ideas for making this day special, and extending the Biblical message we heard at Mass today.
In the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd atrium, we process through the church with our palms. We also celebrate a special Last Supper with the children. (We meet only on Sunday mornings, so could not recreate this on Holy Thursday.) The children re-enact the role of Jesus and his Apostles -- preparing the "Cenacle" for the important meal, (we set a long tablecloth on the floor and they set it with chalice and paten). Then we re-create the Last Supper together. Afterwards, we enjoy matzo bread (for the unleavened bread) and white grape juice. The kids look forward to this celebration each year, and ask if they can play the role of various apostles and Jesus.
The children also work with a Last Supper Diorama. I'll share information about that in my blog on Wednesday.
Some other ideas:
1) One year at home, I gave my son a paper palm tree filled with a few little trinkets and treats. You can find directions for making these candy palm trees on the Christian Crafters website.
2) This blogger describes how she sets the table with a ribbon cross and six candles to represent the days of Holy Week. On each day of the week, one of the candles is extinguished until all are out on Holy Saturday. This is a simple project to do, and would not require any special crafting expertise.
3) Palm weaving -- I love this crown of thorns made from palms! I think we will try that this year, and use it to decorate our table on Good Friday.
This website includes palm weaving tutorials, including step by step instructions on making a braid, a cone and a cross.
4) Palm Sunday crafts
You can find coloring pages here and instructions for making a Palm Sunday donkey here.
Finally, how about serving special food on Palm Sunday? Maybe a snack made from anything grown on a palm-type tree -- coconuts, bananas, dates, etc.
Happy Palm Sunday to you and your family!