Catholic Activity: Palm Burning Procession for Ash Wednesday
This procession can be done within the family as a reminder of human mortality, in addition to receiving ashes on Ash Wednesday.
In countries with pronounced Catholic traditions and culture these three days before Ash Wednesday are carnival days, a time of plenty in food and fun and pleasure. Something like that should also take place in a Catholic home, as it is good psychology to experience and enjoy what we intend to "give up" (think of the Alleluia farewell!) and helps much in a right start for Lent.
That does not prevent our having a solemn and silent procession through the house, to gather the old palm from pictures and crucifixes. Carefully — because it is a sacramental — we burn it as a lesson on the "dust" we are and to which we must return. It means much to the children if they can burn their own piece of palm as an expression and confirmation of a Lenten resolution they made. However let us take care that their resolutions (and ours) are not just negative "give-ups," and "do-aways," but positive "build-ups," overflowing from a new abundant charity and love requiring outward expression. So is fasting only one factor of Lent, needing the compensation of prayer and good deeds — both of which rank even higher, since there is no dispensation for these.
Activity Source: Our Children's Year of Grace by Therese Mueller, Pio Decimo Press, St. Louis, Missouri, 1955