Palm Sunday is a movable feast and so is Easter for that matter. A movable feast is based on a complex formula which has something to do with the marriage between the Justinian and the Gregorian calendars, coupled with Western and Eastern traditions. In addition, phases of the moon are also incorporated.
Anyway Palm Sunday is seven days before Easter. It is the time to commemorate Jesus’s entrance to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover. He rode an ass or donkey as opposed to a horse; a horse is perceived more as a warlike or used by the rich & nobles etc.. Whilst the the donkeyis symbolic of humility and peace. Jesus wanted to show that he was for the poor as well as for the rich. Jesus was for Everyman.
It was said that the people laid down their cloaks and little palm leaves to the path where Jesus would pass.
Today the Churches will give their parishioners branches or palm leaves, some are woven into crosses, to raise and wave during an exultation and prayers.
The little palm crosses are encouraged to be taken home and put away to be taken back for next year’s Ash Wednesday.
Some superstitions have been attached to the crosses. In the Philippines which I have carried back here in the UK, the crosses are hung up over windows or doorways. This is to prevent the house from being striken by lightning.
Palm Crosses that are handed out by the Priest at churches are normally made by religious orders.
To make your own Palm Sunday cross, below is a comprehensive instruction from www.thesacredheart.com:
MAKING A CROSS WITH PALM SUNDAY PALMS
|STEP 1:||Take one palm and remove the hard green edge. Split the palm down the middle and set one of the palms aside. Take the other palm and fold it in half so you can cut it with scissors or (use two full palms to make a larger cross). With these two pieces you want to form an L. The horizontal piece must extend to the left slightly beyond the vertical palm.|
|STEP 2:||Fold the excess horizontal palm over top of the vertical palm.|
|STEP 3:||Take the vertical palm and fold it behind the horizontal piece and then fold it in front of the horizontal piece. The vertical palm should be back where it started.|
|STEP 4:||Take the horizontal piece and fold it over the vertical palm and bring it back around. Make sure you slide the horizontal piece all the way through the base that we formed in step 3.|
|STEP 5:||Take one of the palm strands and form a loop. Slide the remaining part of the palm through the top of the base.|
|STEP 6:||Take the piece you just threaded through and form a loop. Slide the remaining part of the palm through the top of the base. You want to make sure that both loops are the same size.|
|STEP 7:||Take the other strand and form a loop. Slide the remaining part of the palm through the back of the base.|
|STEP 8:||Take the piece you just threaded through and form a loop. This loop will be longer than the other three, because it is the bottom of the cross. Slide the remaining part of the palm through the back of the base.|
|STEP 9:||Cut the excess portion from both strands.|