Valley Forge, PA – Making a palm Sunday cross is more than just fun. “It’s a tradition the parishioners at St. Sophia having passing on to it’s Sunday school students for some 38 years”, says Sunday school teacher Maria Tsipras.
Following church services yesterday, the Sunday school students filed into a classroom adjacent to the church hall for a pancake lunch. Strips of Palm/Frond buds were then distributed and separated by some of the parents and Sunday school teachers. There the tradition (how to make a palm) continued its path to the next generation.
Palm Sunday is an ancient holiday of the Christian Church that marks the day that Jesus entered Jerusalem for the Passover feast just prior to his death, burial, and resurrection. According to the gospel accounts, Jesus deliberately fulfilled the words of the prophet Zechariah by riding into the city on a donkey.
A palm cross is made from a palm bud and is called a frond. Often the palm fronds are knitted or woven into small crosses that can be kept by individuals in their homes.The material is often soaked first to loosen the palm.
Huddled around the tables, students and teachers looked over each others shoulders studying the technique. Many of the students were first timers and would be part of an experience they will share with the next generation. As the palms began to take shape, students and teachers joined in singing the song of “Hosanna”.
“Hosanna” was the shout of praise or adoration made in recognition of the Messiahship of Jesus on his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, “Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!” It is used in the same way in Christian praise, especially on Palm Sunday.