Sunday, March 30, 2014

Church Decoration for Palm Sunday


Palm Sunday is the day for the blessing, distribution, and procession of palms to commemorate Christ's entry into Jerusalem prior to his Passion and Death.  Palm Sunday (April 13 in 2014) falls within the rule that there are to be no church flowers during Lent.

Customarily, there is some sort of decoration with palms, or if palms are not available, other foliage is used such as box, yew, willow, or olive. McClinton adds that another alternative might be huckleberry.

Traditionally, the liturgical color for vestments and altar frontals is violet/ purple (although modernly red has been permitted).  McClinton has this suggestion for the altar vases:
"For the altar vases on Palm Sunday, arrangements may be made with palm strips, and the light chartreuse green of the strips makes a beautiful color contrast against a purple [frontal]."
Palm strips are the leaf part of the palm cut away from the stem -- the part that is usually distributed to the faithful on Palm Sunday.

If palm is not available to you, here are pictures of the other types of foliage sometimes used instead of palm:


Box

Yew

Willow

Olive

Huckleberry


Source of quoted material:   McClinton, Katherine Morrison; Flower Arrangement in the Church (Morehouse-Gorham, 1958), p. 95.

Images:  All are from Wikimedia Commons.  Click on name below for license.

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