Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Disposing Your Blessed Palms

Just a quick reminder. If you took home from church last Palm Sunday some palms, or palm fronds, these are the days to bring them back to church. Sunday would have been a good day as well. But you could bring them today, or tomorrow. If your pastor has scheduled a time to burn them for the ashes to be used on Ash Wednesday, then try to bring them in time for that burning. If he hasn't, as far as you know, let him know that you would encourage it.

Bear in mind that there are two reasons to burn your blessed palms. One is so that the ashes made from them may be used on Ash Wednesday. The other is simply that it is fitting that sacramentals, such as blessed palms, be disposed of in a reverent manner. The best way to reverently dispose of a sacramental (a holy item or device used for Christian devotion, including bibles) when it has completed it's usefulness or its natural life, is to burn what can be burned, and bury what remains, and to do all this in a space of ground that is reserved for that use only. This can be done in your own back yard. But many people cannot do this conveniently or efficiently themselves. Therefore, even if your pastor won't be using these palms for ashes, I still recommend giving them over to him as a good way of disposing of them. He will take time in his day to handle them properly. Indeed, the deacon can do it too. I know, however, that there are not a lot of deacons out there presently, at least not in my church.


Joe Greene said...

Thank you, Latif. My pastor designated me to burn the palms for ashes for Ash Wednesday but I still have a lot left. I wasn't sure what to do with them until reading your post.

Deacon Latif Haki Gaba, SSP said...

Hey Joe:

Good to see that this tradition is alive in our churches.

Dcn. Muehlenbruch said...

Since we do not burn before Ash Wednesday, when the last year's palms are burned, the ashes are kept for the next year. Also, I usually keep what remains for use in following years.

This year, this reserve was large enough to provide ashes for a congregation in need.

Deacon Latif Haki Gaba, SSP said...

Very nice, Deacon. Thanks for the input.