Tuesday, February 21, 2012
I am skipping the regular "Tuesday Two" post this week and instead write about the Burning of the Palms. It was my first experience with how the burning was done. The day started out cloudy, in the upper 40s but the wind made it kind of chilly. Later in the afternoon the sun came out and it got up to the 50s. The school kids were gathered around in the parking lot in front of the church. Father explained the ritual of burning of the palms (parishioners brought back to church the palms they received from last year Palm Sunday), blessed and then burned the palms to create the ashes to be used at Ash Wednesday Masses.
The kids were all excited as they gathered around in a circle. The teachers had to tell them to quiet down to hear what Father was saying. When the burning got going with the smoke blowing around, the kids started coughing and they did not like the smoke flowing toward them. I loved watching the kids walked back to school in a very orderly manner because it reminded me of the school I went to in Viet Nam. We had to wear uniforms (white shirt, black/blue skirt for the girls, just high above the ankles, pants for the boys, white socks and black shoes). Both boys and girls wore ties. I had wonderful memory from those carefree years prior to the Fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975.