Pop-Up Catechesis: Palms as Part of Our Catholic Home Decor

It is no secret that Catholics have a deep appreciation for signs and symbols. It is part of our sacramental sensibility that reminds us of the presence of God in our midst. For this reason, Catholics are not shy about displaying sacred images in their homes, including a crucifix, a Bible, candles, and small statues. One unique example of this Catholic home décor is the placement of blessed palms—brought home from Palm Sunday Mass—in various […]

Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion, Year A: Encountering the Profound and Holy

This Sunday we begin Holy Week, the days during which we journey with Jesus on his Way of the Cross and anticipate his Resurrection on Easter. These days are indeed profound and holy. There are many vantage points from which to engage in Jesus’ Passion. In the characters of Matthew’s Gospel (Matthew 27:11–54), we find reflections of ourselves and the many ways in which we sometimes respond to Jesus. Sometimes we are like Judas, who […]

Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion, Year C

Throughout the Gospel of Luke, the power of evil is lurking and the heavenly hosts stand ready to go into battle, beginning with the appearance of an army of angels to the shepherds at the birth of Christ. Evil tempts Jesus in the desert. Throughout Luke’s Gospel, Jesus drives out demons. However, the ultimate battle takes place during the Passion of Jesus that we enter into this Holy Week. Evil’s tenacious presence is manifested in […]

Palm Weaving and Braiding

I’ve always been fascinated with the art of palm weaving and braiding, even though it’s something that I am terrible at! (I included it in my 40 Ideas for 40 Days). During one of the years that I was a parish DRE, I discovered that one of my catechists was an expert palm-weaver and braider. Just like that, we put together the easiest intergenerational event in history. After Mass on Palm Sunday, we invited families to […]

A Word That Will Rouse Them

May this line from the First Reading for Palm Sunday inspire us as catechists as we enter this HolyWeek and beyond! The Lord has given me a well-trained tongue, that I may know how to speak to the weary a word that will rouse them. (Isaiah 50:4) Lord, grant that we may speak a word that will rouse all who we teach!

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 […]

40 Ideas for 40 Days – Lenten Activities: Palm Crosses

This is another Palm Sunday/Holy Week Lenten activity. For this one, we go to a Web site called King of Peace and learn how to make palm crosses. Palm Crosses This activity comes to us from King of Peace Episcopal Church in Kingsland, Georgia. This is something that can be done with children and families right after Palm Sunday Masses or at religious education classes held during Holy Week. For this activity, click here. You may […]

40/40 – Lenten Activities: Make a Paper Palm Branch

To help catechists prepare their young people for Palm Sunday, this Lenten activity  demonstrates how to make a paper palm branch. For this activity, we visit a site we have been to before: http://www.sundayschoolkids.com/activities-lent-easter/1-straw-palm-instru.htm. Make a Paper Palm Branch Here’s how the folks at Sunday School Kids describe this activity: After having experienced distributing of real palm fronds in Sunday School for many years, I think paper palms are much safer. I’ve had palm fronds […]

40 Ideas for 40 Days—Lenten Activities: Looking for Clues

This Lenten activity is called Looking for Clues and is an opportunity for catechists to help children become more familiar with the Passion story. Looking for Clues Gather pictures of the following items from the Passion according to Mark (14:1—15:47). a jar (bottle of perfume) (14:3) water jar (14:13) a dish(14:20) bread (14:22) cup (14:23) olive tree (14:26) swords and clubs (14:43) sword (14:47) a fire (14:54) blindfold (14:65) rooster (14:68) rope (they bound him) (15:1) whip (scourging) (15:15) purple robe (15:17) crown of thorns (15:17) a […]