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The Reasons Behind Ash Wednesday and Palm Sunday

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We are just a little over halfway through Lent. We use Lent as a time to repent, fast, and prepare for Easter. Lent starts on Ash Wednesday, this year it started on March 1st, and ends with Easter. This time for self-reflection lasts about 40 days, not including Sundays, which is the amount of time Jesus spent in the desert, praying and fasting.

For those who took part in Ash Wednesday, your time for self-reflection is half over. What have you learned? What have you done to draw closer to God? Most people who take part in Lent generally give something up for 40 days, or volunteer as a way to give to others.

Lent is a time to recognize your relationship with God, a time to reflect, and a time give up those hobbies and habits that might be doing more harm than good. The tradition behind the ashes, marked in the shape of a cross on people’s foreheads, are meant to symbolize penance or repent. People in the Old Testament would cover themselves in ashes and publicly repented, which has morphed into our tradition today. These ashes were obtained from burnt palm leaves, the palm leaves from the previous Palm Sunday, the year before, often mixed with oil or Holy Water.

St. Jude Shop has the ashes for Ash Wednesday that you need, but since Lent is already half over, we can offer you the next best thing. Palm leaves for Palm Sunday. Palm Sunday is the last day of Lent and the day that begins Holy Week, which leads up to Easter Sunday. Palms symbolize the day Jesus entered Jerusalem. Palm branches were viewed as a symbol of victory during this time.

In churches now, palm branches are often included in the Palm Sunday service. Some churches twist them into crosses, others hand out palms that have been blessed by the priest. These traditions give a reminder to people that Jesus survived his time in the desert, and symbolize his victory and triumph.

The palm branches that aren’t used are generally blessed by the priest, giving them more importance than to just be thrown away. These palms are saved to make the ashes for Ash Wednesday the follow year, bringing it all full circle.

Whether you are looking for palm branches to teach your kids about Palm Sunday, Jesus’ time in the desert, and what Easter is truly about, or you are wanting to stock your church with palms for the Palm Sunday service, St. Jude Shop has what you need. We can help you celebrate what Jesus overcame, remember why you are participating in Lent, and why the whole thing is important.

Trust St. Jude Shop to help you get what you need in time for Palm Sunday. Contact us today if you have any questions. 

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