Why are the palm branches used to make ashes for Ash Wednesday?

Why are the palm branches from Palm Sunday used to make the ashes for Ash Wed?

When did this tradition begin?

The following is an excerpt from Jimmy Akin’s FAQ on Ash Wednesday:

Q: Why are ashes from the previous year’s Palm Sunday used?

A: “Because Palm Sunday was when the people rejoiced at Jesus’ triumphal entrance to Jerusalem. They celebrated his arrival by waving palm fronds, little realizing that he was coming to die for their sins. By using palms from Palm Sunday, it is a reminder that we must not only rejoice of Jesus’ coming but also regret the fact that our sins made it necessary for him to die for us in order to save us from hell.”

The practice of using ashes from the previous year’s Palm Sunday began around the eighth century. For more information on this see:[LIST]
*]Ash Wednesday[/LIST]Further reading:
*]History of the Blessed Palm
*]Palm in Christian Symbolism[/LIST]

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.