More than 2,000 years ago, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, just days before his crucifixion. He was greeted by a jubilant crowd that was there to celebrate Passover. They waved palms and threw them and their garments on the ground to pave Christ’s way.
Today, Palm Sunday marks the event for Christians around the world who will commemorate it. Though Jesus soon would be crucified, his ride is considered a triumphant entry. Churches will distribute palms to their members, many of whom will carry them in religious processions.
Patricia Mack, who serves on the liturgical committee at St. Patrick Catholic Church, purchased the palms for the church and Our Lady of Mercy, its sister parish. Mack ordered palm fronds for about 300 from Horst florist west of the Ashley.
At some other churches, members receive crosses made of palm fronds, but St. Patrick has never used those, Mack says. “Some of the parishioners make the crosses themselves. Last year, I had a person sitting behind me and she made one for me.
“Palms are usually blessed by father (the Rev. Henry N. Kulah) as we gather for the procession into the church,” Mack says.
At St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in West Ashley, Al Oliver is in charge of making sure the palms for about 150 people are there. “We got them from outside Jerusalem,” says Oliver, who likes a good laugh.
The palms fronds the church uses in its Palm Sunday procession come from Horst or local homeowners, who discard them during yard maintenance. Those from residential areas are made into crosses by two women in the church.
No particular variety of palms is required, Oliver says. He suspects that the people of Jerusalem weren’t so concerned with that but used whatever was available. Presbyterians don’t bless the palms.
Reach Wevonneda Minis at 937-5705.