Palmpaasstokken – “Palm Sunday Crosses”


Our Constitutions states “the Paschal Mystery of our Lord is an inexhaustible source of spirituality. His Passion, Death, and Resurrection must always illuminate our lives. We must be experts in the wisdom of the cross, in the love of the cross, and in the joy of the cross.” [1]

We would like to share the love of the cross with the children in the oratory.  It is after all on the Cross where Christ showed us his utmost love. [2] That’s why every year we make the traditional Palm Sunday Crosses with the children, so that they will learn in a creative way about Jesus’ suffering and death. Everything we put on the Palm Sunday Cross are symbols of Christ’s sufferings.

First of all, we use a wooden cross, which symbolizes the altar where upon Christ’s sacrifice was accomplished. But we know life does not end with death.  After that the cross is wrapped with white crepe paper, which symbolizes a joyful resurrection. There are twelve peanuts which hang on the Palm Sunday Cross, a symbol of the twelve apostles. As we know Peter is the first of all the apostles and during the night of Jesus’ trial He denied Him three times before cock crowed. Therefore we can find the most known symbol on the Palm Sunday Cross which is freshly baked bread in the shape of a cock. There is also a bag of 30 currants, for the 30 pieces of silver for which Judas betrayed Jesus and two mandarins which represent the sponge with vinegar and gal which was given to Jesus when he cried “I’m thirsty.” [3]  There is also on the cross a beautiful palm, which is a symbol of Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem and the His triumph over death. There are 5 red dots on the cross, which represents the wounds from the nails, the crown of thorns, and His  pierced side from the lance.

The Palm Sunday crosses are a reminder of the Gospel for the children. But the Gospel must be proclaimed and thus we went with the children to a nursing home, where they gave their Palm Sunday Crosses to the elderly people. We hope that the Palm Sunday crosses remind these people of the central message of our Christian Faith, that when they suffer to look at the Cross and realize that Christ loves them. That He gave His life for them to be saved and is every day at their side to ease their load, to give them strength and to set them free. [4] May they be strengthened to know that with Faith they don’t have to carry the cross alone.

Sr. Maria Foederis Arca

[1] Constitutions SSVM 42.

[2]  Joh 13,1.

[3] Joh 19,28.

[4]  Evangelium Gaudium 164

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