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Palm Crosses

2010 March 26
by Gordon Reid

In most of my previous parishes, we have had only the usual leaves of palm made into the shape of a cross, with the clergy carrying slightly larger ones. And in some of the Mediterranean parishes of my old Diocese of Europe, there were large bundles of olive branches. But only in St Clement’s have I seen the wonderfully elaborate woven palms which I believe originate in southern Italy.

Here is a picture of the three Sacred Ministers in St Clement’s with these splendid creations, made even more exotic by the insertion of daffodils among the leaves.
Happy Palm Sunday!

11 Responses leave one →
  1. Richard permalink
    March 26, 2010

    I’m sure Jesus saw daffodils in the palms that were strewn! Get real!

    • March 28, 2010

      I don’t know what you mean by “Get real”. The Gospel tells us that the Hebrews used the plants that were immediately available to them. For centuries, Christians have followed the same example, using whatever was available locally. In Britain, where palm was hard to come by, the custom was to use box or willow. The same is true in Russia. Even the ancient prayers of blessing make reference to the different types of leaves and flowers being blessed.

      Daffodils happen to start flowering around the time that we commemorate the entry of the Saviour into Jerusalem. The effort of parishioners cutting them and preparing them as their service to Christ seems much more “real” to me, and a much worthier offering to God, than dried out, fallow palms imported from the other side of the world and purchased in a plastic bag.

      • March 28, 2010

        I agree entirely; local branches carefully prepared would be worthy. This year, for some reason, we had no daffodils. My former curate would have approved: they always gave him hay-fever!

        The ceremonies were lovely: just over two hours of wonderful chants and readings. You can hear and see the whole thing soon on the web site.

  2. Bob Glassmeyer permalink
    March 27, 2010

    The sprays of daffodils amidst the palms are lovely. I noticed once on your site that you had pussywillow with the palms also.

    I’m sure Jesus was grateful for whatever palms, cloaks, flowers, whatever, tossed his way.

  3. greg permalink
    March 27, 2010

    The daffodil or otherwise known as the LENT LILY is an excellent addition. Very few plants match the simple beauty of the daffodil to honour our Lords beginning of His Passion which bought our salvation at such a high price. Being welsh I am perhaps biased. May God bless all at St Clements this Palm Sunday.

  4. March 27, 2010

    What beautiful palms in honour of our Lord! Thank you so much for sharing a photograph! Would appreciate knowing how they were made.

  5. Paul+ permalink
    March 28, 2010

    When I lived in Jerusalem and was serving at St. George’s Cathedral, it was very popular to have such beautiful palms with all sorts of flowers. Children liked them especially. Happy Palm Sunday!

  6. John permalink
    March 29, 2010

    We had forsythia mixed in with the palms on the high Altar and at our Lady’s shrine today. Most fitting I think, as it’s flower is a cross and it is of the olive family.

  7. Leonard permalink
    April 20, 2010

    At my old parish in Nashville, we had the choice of carrying palm branches or springs of rosemary (for remembrance).

  8. Leonard permalink
    April 20, 2010

    I forgot to add that the rosemary came in handy to season the roast leg of lamb served for dinner on Easter Sunday!

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