In the 1980s, I was in charge of children’s ministries in my Christian and Missionary Alliance Church.
I always organized a Palm Sunday children’s parade, with real palm fronds (the kind you make into crosses afterward).
At the very beginning of the service, several daddies would lay jackets and suits coats on the floor at the front of the church. Then the music would start, usually “Hosanna Little Children”, and the children would process down the aisle, waving their palms, and drop them off at the front of the church on top of the jackets.
After church, I and other volunteers would pass out palm fronds to anyone who wanted one. Many people wanted one.
One year, I had something special happen. After church, a lady came up to me in tears. She told me, “Thank you for organizing this palm processional. I’m a Catholic visiting my family, and I was so afraid that I would have to miss the palm processional on Palm Sunday. But I didn’t!”
It was just one more thing that made an impression on me. To me, it made perfect sense to re-enact the processional on Palm Sunday. I hadn’t grown up with it in my Baptist church, but when I got old enough to be “in charge,” I organized it on my own.
When that lady talked to me, I realized that all Catholic Churches did some kind of palm processional with real palms, and it made me think about how many other things the Catholic Church did that made sense.
As someone earlier in the thread stated, a palm processional and real palms are hit and miss in the evangelical Protestant churches. It just depends on which Mommy or Daddy or Children’s Pastor is in charge!
I think a lot of evangelical churches don’t do a palm commemoration, but many do some kind of special children’s thing on Palm Sunday. I’ve seen a lot of Easter Egg hunts in my city, and also several churches do children’s dramas/cantatas/concerts/puppet shows, or some special program starring the children of the church.
(As many of you know, I converted to Catholicism on April 10, 2004. Wonderful day!)