When are palms collected?


When I was a kid there was a certain Mass each year where we brought back our palms from the previous Palm Sunday. I thought there was even a special name for it, but I don’t remember what it was. They were collected but not burned at that Mass (I have no idea when they actually burned them). They did this at each of the parishes I attended as a kid. Our current parish collects them on a Saturday 1-3 weeks before Ash Wednesday and lets people stick around while they burn them. Sometimes it’s in the bulletin, other times it’s not. We have several years of palm leaves stashed up because we never know when it’s going to be. Is there a certain day when they’re traditionally collected?


I have no idea. To the best of my knowledge. no parish to which I have belonged has ever collected palms to be burned for Ash Wednesday.


I wish our parish did this, but I’ve never belonged to a parish that did so. I have a “collection” of past year’s palms that really need to be burned…we don’t have a burning barrel, and their are ordinances against burning in our neighborhood, so I don’t have an easy way of burning them. Am trying to remember to send them home with my son, as they live in a rural area and have bonfires often.


I have a little Metal container that I burn my palms in. I have to get to it this year!

An old coffee can with holes punched around the bottom edge would work as well

I crumple newspaper in the bottom pretty tightly so it burns a while, put the palms on top and light it. I do this away from the house a bit so that it does not set anything on fire. I put the ashes in my garden because it should provide some nutrients. Another thing I have heard is similar: chop the palms up really small and dig them in to a garden. They will naturally break down and it is an appropriate way to dispose of blessed objects that will biodegrade…


That’s just a local practice. It’s a good idea (if needed) but it’s not anything in the Church’s calendar, nor is there any special ritual for collecting palms.

At my own parishes, I’ve always had more than enough palms for Ash Wednesday, because I make it a point to have a little more than we think we’re going to need on Palm Sunday. As I see it, it’s better to have too many on Palm Sunday than not to have enough. They’re not expensive. Therefore, I ask people very specifically not-to-bring last year’s palms. They do it anyway.


I never thought about burying them…I can do that (once winter decides to leave Michigan…it’s snowing AGAIN!). Thanks for the suggestion!


We don’t burn palms at our parish anymore because our Deacon says we have enough ashes to last until the 22nd century. I have old palms all over the house, which I am going to gather and take up to my mother’s this Easter to burn, as she lives in the country.

The last time my husband tried to burn something in a container, someone called the fire department and they responded as if it was a three alarm fire. There wasn’t even that much smoke. No more burning, even of small things.


You don’t even have to literally bury them. You can simply break or cut them into small pieces (small, they don’t have to be tiny) and then put them on the ground and allow nature to run its course. Put them under a bush or over a flower garden. As long as it’s not some place where people walk (or otherwise an irreverent place) there’s no problem. If you put them out now, while there’s still snow, the snow will actually help the natural process of the palms biodegrading.


I have been attending the Eucharist for going on 70 years now .

At none of them has there been one which you describe .


OK…you’ve given me a project for tomorrow! Thanks, Fr.David96!


I always burn mine the day before Ash Wednesday (a/k/a Mardi gras!), and either bury them (when I lived land-locked) or scatter them in the ocean with prayers for a holy Lent.


That’s what I do.


Wow. They made such a big deal about it when I was a kid that I just assumed it was a standard practice. All these years at my current parish, I just figured they were doing something wrong.


I burn mine in our wood stove which is our main heat source in winter.


Then you obviously need more practice on being sneaky! :smiley:


We had a parish here ask for old palms to use for The Easter Vigil fire


Gonna have a “holy” herb garden this year!


My parish puts out baskets about 2 weeks before Ash Wednesday for people to put their palms in to be burned. It’s announced, but collecting them is not actually a part of any of the services.


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