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Palm Branch

A visual symbol that can be placed on the cover of service bulletins, within the written liturgy, or on a large screen display.

Black and white .jpeg image for download.

Description of Palm Branch

In ancient times the palm tree was associated with life and blessing. Found in desert oases, it was referred to as the tree of life. The branch was used as a victory symbol at public games and in battles. In the Old Testament palm fronds were carried in the Festival of Booths (Lev.23:40) as well as used as a motif in the design of the temple (1 Kings 6:29-35). As Jesus entered Jerusalem the people waved palms in triumphant rejoicing, laying them on the road before their king. Palms appeared in the funeral art of the catacombs, symbolizing Christ's triumph over sin and death. This image depicts the joy and the sorrow of the moment—the paradox of Christ's victory of life through humility and death.

Scripture References

  • Zachariah 9:9
  • Mark 11:8-10
  • Revelation 7:9

Occasions for Use

  • Passion
  • Palm Sunday
  • Creation
  • Lent

The image is an original linoleum block print resulting from a printmaking process in which an image is drawn on a block of wood covered with a thin layer of linoleum, and then hand-carved to expose areas that will be white. Ink is rolled onto the block, covering the surface not cut away. Paper made from the mulberry tree is laid on top and hand rubbed with a Japanese barren or wooden spoon. In transferring the ink to the paper the resulting image is a reflection of the design placed on the block. It first appeared in the book Visuals for Worship (Faith Alive Christian Resources, 2006) which is no longer in print.

When using the image please include the following acknowledgment: “Linoleum block print by Elizabeth Steele Halstead."