40 Ideas for 40 Days – Lenten Activities: Palm Weaving & Braiding

Here’s another Holy Week  Lenten activity  that gives catechists the opportunity to introduce children to the popular custom of palm weaving & braiding.


Palm Weaving & Braiding

  • Palms are sacramentals – “sacred signs instituted by the Church” (CCC 1667). They represent our homage and loyalty to Christ the King, who was hailed as king as he entered Jerusalem to the waving of palm branches.
  • Catholics have long displayed palms in their homes after Palm Sunday as a sign that Christ is the King of our homes. One of the ways that Catholics of many cultures (especially Italian, Polish, and Philippino) have shown reverence for palms is by weaving and braiding them.
  • On his Web site – Italiansrus.com Anthony Parente shares his family’s customs of braiding and weaving palms. Not only does he provide background on the tradition of palm weaving, but then he also provides palm weaving tutorials for creating some wonderful designs such as braids, cones, crosses, crowns of thorns, and rose buds!
  • Depending on the degree of difficulty (which Anthony indicates for each), you may be able to help your students complete some of these creations!
  • Thanks, Anthony, for sharing this wonderful tradition!

40 Ideas for 40 Days
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40 Ideas for 40 Days
Check out all of the activities for Lent.
About Joe Paprocki 2742 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at www.catechistsjourney.com.


  1. Joe
    This is way cool. Thank you and Anthonly for sharing. We’ve belonged to two italian parishes and always wanted to know felow parishioners seemed to so easily transform their palms into crosses and intricate braids. I’ll be trying out the crown of thorns this weekend.

  2. Hello,

    perhaps it is too late this year, but I would like for you to know about us. For more than 30 years I have been involved with the palm used by the Church for Palm Sunday. Two years ago we began supplying Strip and Decorative Palm to Church Goods Dealers and to Churches directly.

    Many Churches prefer the whole, unprepared bud or “head” of the palm. Freight charges cause this to be costly but to our customers within 500 miles, we offer free delivery with a minimum order of 300 bundles of the Large or 50,000 of the Dwarf.

    We will provide the very freshest products.

    You can see our products at stores.sepalmnfoliage.com,

    If you any questions please contact us,

    thank you,

    Thomas Sowell
    Southeast Palm and Foliage
    P.O. Box 1130
    Pierson, Fl 32180
    Fax 866-792-5089

  3. Hi Joe!
    Greetings for an awesome Holy Week & Easter! Thanks for the great webpage on braiding palms – I would spend all Palm Sunday at the entrance of the Basilica teaching the folks how to make Palm Crosses with some of our seventh and eighth graders, and my “palm veteran high school and college students”. All of our children attending Children’s Liturgy of the Word and all the children in the congregation would receive a cross. It was a great Holy Week ministry that complimented the beautiful palm cones and braids Sister Ann Kathleen displayed around the altar. Thanks so much! Many blessings! Barb Slipek

    • Hi Barb! Thanks for your thoughts about palm braiding and your own experience in this art. This is an art form that has always impressed (and eluded!) me!

  4. i have been weaving for years and can do the fish,grasshopper,bird a cross with a miniture rose in the middle and three different kinds of baskets although my crosses and fish are made different then i have seen and are easier to teach but the baskets you have to have a certain type of palm as most of the palm leaves are not consistant or the leaves go from an inch wide then just a few down turn into two then three wide which you can not use in most baskets but here in florida there is a certain type that are long and hold there width even though i go get my own i live within a few miles of the biggest palm picker in florida with he sells all over the world mostly to churches for palm sunday anyway have a good life

  5. There is a man named Gene Fedeli who teaches the art of palm weaving and is one of the best.
    He has a web page on the subject.

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