Palm Shortage in New Orleans

One of the most attended Masses of the liturgical year, Palm Sunday will look a little different this year in New Orleans, Louisiana. Because of the deep freeze that hit hard this January, palms that are typically plentiful in New Orleans are now in short supply.

Instead of the usual queen palms which were killed in the freeze, it has been recommended that parishes use sago palms, which are brown and much skinnier than what Catholics are used to seeing on Palm Sunday.

Because the Roman Missal doesn’t specify which type of branch is to be used during Palm Sunday services, some parishes are considering the use of other branches as well, such as juniper trees or ginger plants.

H/T: Clarion Herald


  1. I hope people don’t use juniper branches unless they are well past pollination stage….it’s one of the most allergenic tree pollens (and catches people by surprise because that pollen season begins before any leaf-out of deciduous trees). And, while I might expect juniper pollen season to be gone by in that region, apparently it’s not.

  2. The Palm shortage is affecting more than New Orleans. Due to a poor harvest overseas, our diocese has told parishes they might only receive half of their order, if they arrive on time. We’re being told they should be delivered Friday.

  3. In our parish in OK we received half our order. We were told that one of the two suppliers in the US had their trees destroyed in FL by the hurricane. We’re going to supplement them with budding branches from trees on the parish grounds and pussy willows as is the practice in the Eastern Church in most Slavic lands (They call Palm Sunday, “Flowery Sunday”).

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