As part of the tradition of the Eastern Church both palms and pussy willows are blessed and distributed to the congregation on Flowery (Palm) Sunday. They are blessed at either the end of Matins, or at our parish, at the beginning of the Divine Liturgy. They are distributed and the faithful carry the branches throughout the Divine Liturgy.
Here’s the ST. ATHANASIUS Pascha Schedule 2018.
Some people are not used to pussy willows on Palm Sunday. The budding pussy willow branch is one sign of spring. Palms were either not available or too expensive in the Carpathian Mountain region. Pussy willow bushes were readily available. Here in the U.S. we use both. The pussy willows are grown at a parishioner’s house. Since they will be freshly harvested you can root them and plant some in your own yard. This has been done successfully many times.
Following the liturgy, during the social hour(s) in St. Mary’s Hall, we will have a demonstration on how to create a few items (cross, rose, square cone, leaf or braid and maybe a fish.) We have a book, Palm Weaving Guidesheets, of many patterns by Sister Cecilia Schmitt, OSF. We’ll be using it as a reference to create a number of different decorative objects with the palm leaves. We can make copies of patterns you would like to continue to make at home.
Come join us for Divine Liturgy and the old art craft of weaving palms on Flowery Sunday! In St. Mary’s Hall we still have the pysanky supplies out for use. You can choose to weave palms, make pysanky or both. Spend an hour or two learning these old customs or just honing your skills and enjoying our fellowship time together.
A good selection of palm weaving patterns are here. See Sister Schmitt’s picture and some of her handiwork.
Step-by-step tutorials by Anthony Parente.
Instructions for: cross, palm rose, crown of thorns, bird, fish
Videos: Fish, palmetto rose, cross and there are more on the internet.