Catholic Activity: Palm Sunday Festivities
Maria Augusta Trapp describes how her family celebrates Palm Sunday. In some areas, pussy willows are blessed instead of palm branches on Palm Sunday. Note that blessed palms or olive branches or pussy willows should be kept in the home as a witness to faith in Jesus Christ, the messianic king, and in his Paschal Victory.
On the day before Palm Sunday we prepare, as we always did in the old country, little bouquets made of pussy willows and twigs of spruce or fir, adding a few palm leaves. Every little bouquet is tied around a stick about three feet long, decorated with gaily-colored ribbons.
On Palm Sunday we take these in to church and have them blessed during the solemn blessing of the palms. Upon our return home a tiny bottle (usually saved from the medicine chest) is filled with holy water and tied to the bouquet.
On Palm Sunday afternoon the whole family goes over the whole property (we live on a large farm), placing these blessed palms all over the land. Every unit of meadow, of pasture, of ploughland, orchard, vegetable garden, the maple sugar grove-they all get their own blessing.
The children in the house have some extra fun on the morning of Palm Sunday. On this one morning of the year every one of them wants to be out of bed first. Then they congregate before the door of the one member of the family who happens to sleep longest and at the top of their lungs they shout! "Palm Ass, Palm Assl" This privilege of the children to shout loudly throughout the house on Palm Sunday morning must go back to those children on the first Palm Sunday, who greeted their Lord and Master with shouts and jubilations as He came riding on the back of an ass.
Activity Source: Your Home, A Church in Miniature by Compiled by The Family Life Bureau in the early 1950s, The Neumann Press, Long Prairie, Minnesota, 1994