Making hand-crafted Easter cards with braided palm leaves is par for the course at Immaculate Heart Convent. Sisters there make colorful ribbon and repurposed greeting cards every year for Easter. Sr. Pauline Bilbrough, Local Leader for Immaculate Heart, began the process this year in March.
Sr. Pauline Bilbrough has been making the braided palm Easter cards since 1962, when she was a Postulant at the Fox Chase Convent in Philadelphia.
Over the years she has taught other Sisters to make the Easter cards. Sisters at Immaculate Heart Convent helped Sr. Pauline this year by fastening the braided palms onto the cards and adding the ribbon.
Making Easter cards as preparation for Holy Week and Easter
Sr. Pauline braids the palms each year at the onset of Lent. It is her way of preparing for Holy Week and Easter.
“Making the braids connects me to Christ and focuses me for keeping in the true spirit of the season through Holy Week and then the celebration of Easter,” she said.
Hanging palms that a priest has blessed with Holy Water is a time-honored tradition in homes. Sr. Pauline likes that her cards carry on that tradition. Many people bring her their Easter cards from previous years so that she will add a freshly blessed palm to the card.
The palm in the house is a reminder of how God is always with us.
“Some people like the card they received from a previous year so much that they want to keep it. After I replace the braid on their Easter card with a fresh one, I burn the old palms in a sacred manner and pour the ashes on our courtyard garden. I recycle the cards, when possible, for next year,” Sr. Pauline said.
“The palm in the house is a reminder of how God is always with us, always there for us no matter what,” Sr. Pauline said.
Monsignor Schneider blessed the palms on Palm Sunday in the Immaculate Heart chapel. People who attended Mass on Palm Sunday each received a card.
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