March 1st marks the beginning of Lent season. On Ash Wednesday, Catholics will have ashes placed on their foreheads. Ashes symbolise penance, remorse and mourning. The ashes are made from the burning of palms blessed in the previous year’s Palm Sunday celebration.
Recently, some of our youths came and gathered all the old palms at the back of the sacristy. First, they removed all the rubber bands, staples and ribbons before burning them in a small wok. As they burned the palms in the wok, they also pounded it with a hard stick to turn the residue into ashes. They kept the ashes for two days to cool it down. Then, they collected all the ashes and sieved them, a little by little. Finally, they kept the refined ashes in the stainless steal container and ready to be used on Ash Wednesday.