What should I do with blessed palms?

Whatever you do, don’t throw them in the trash!

After Palm Sunday Mass you will likely come home with some palm branches and may ask yourself, “what do I do with these?”  Or, as we approach Palm Sunday, you have dried-out palms from last year tucked behind a crucifix or other religious picture that you are not sure what to do with.

Whatever you do, don’t throw them away!

According to the Code of Canon Law, blessed items are to be treated with respect and reverence and not discarded in the trash. At Mass these palm branches were blessed by a priest and became a “sacramental,” which is an object that is meant to draw us closer to God. These sacred signs bear a resemblance to the sacraments (cf. #1171). Throwing them in the trash overlooks their sacred purpose and treats them like any other object we no longer need.

So, if you can’t throw them away, what should you do with them?

Decorate

Many of the faithful have used palm branches to decorate their homes.  You could tuck them behind a religious picture or crucifix.  If you wish to get a little more creative or crafty like making it into a palm rose, please check out  CatholicIcing.com for some step-by-step institutors.

When we use the palms as decoration in the house, it serves as a constant reminder of Palm Sunday and is a beautiful way to stay connected to Holy Week throughout the year.

Burn or Bury

We live in a society where most things are disposable.  However, sacramentals, such as palm branches, should be treated with special reverence.  Therefore, the normal “rule of thumb” is that anything that has been blessed should be burned (and then the ashes buried) or simply buried.

This type of disposal honors their sacred purpose and returns them to the earth in a dignified way. Anyone can do this, but if you don’t have the ability to burn or bury them, simply drop off your palm branches at the parish office.

Other Good Articles

  1.  Disposal of Religious ItemsCatholic Herald
  2. Blessed Palms in the Home | catholicculture.org
  3. 10 Things to do with Palms from Palm Sunday | catholicicing.com

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