Diocese of North Carolina Invites All Churches to Use At-Home Approach to Create Palms
Updated March 31, 2020
Update: Given that the entire state of North Carolina is now under stay-at-home orders, to adhere to the spirit of all stay-at-home orders, the Diocese is withdrawing the approved in-person distribution of palms. Palms are not to be distributed in person, and all churches are asked to celebrate Palm Sunday with the creation of at-home palms.
In these times, it is the Church’s perplexing yet joyful work to discern ways to continue meaningful worship, and to weave our community more tightly together while staying at a physical distance that does not put our neighbors or ourselves in danger. As Palm Sunday approaches, some of you may be wondering whether, and how, you might distribute one of the tangible signs of the hope we place in the Triune God: palm branches.
After much prayer, thought, and consultation with public health advisers, themselves faithful Episcopalians, we offer the following way in which palm branches can be created by parishioners for use in homes on Palm Sunday.
If your church is not able to distribute traditional palms due to a stay-at-home order, you may download and print graphics (drawn by The Rev. Canon Earnest Graham) to color and cut out at home. You can use them on Palm Sunday as you would a live branch, and also put them up on your front door or around your house for the day or the week, as a sign of your household’s expectant waiting for Jesus’s return.
If you’ve always wanted to learn to make palm crosses, this might be the year to practice with a strip of paper. Instructions abound on the Internet—or perhaps a member of your church would be able to hold a folding tutorial by Zoom.
Your bishops appreciate that for many of us, it’s challenging to contemplate marking Palm Sunday without live palms. This is one of the many disappointments and losses we are all facing in this extraordinarily challenging Lenten season. And yet we trust that, even if we are left without these tangible signs of the welcome we offer Christ Jesus as Lord of our lives, he is still with us. United, we remain his Body, and together, we look forward to the day when we can once again worship him together, with all the visible symbols of our incarnate faith.
MAKE YOUR OWN
It's absolutely okay to make your own palm by simply going outside and trimming a branch from your tree or hedge!
SHARE YOUR PALM (#DioNCPalms)
The Diocese is encouraging everyone to share their stay-at-home palms, whether they were homemade with the paper option or foliage trimmed from bushes and trees in individual yards. Share them in your windows or on your doors on Palm Sunday, take a photo, and post them on any diocesan social media channel (#DioNCPalms), especially during the Palm Sunday service (we'll share the diocesan service at 10a.m. on the diocesan Facebook page)!