Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Olive Wood Crosses

Last Christmas, all of the children, youth and teachers in the parish received an olive wood cross as a gift from our Church pilgrimage to Israel. At the time, I sent a card to each atrium and class, which told a bit about the crosses and included some pictures from our trip. In a conversation with a parent recently, I realized that I never shared this information with you, and that many parents may not know the story behind these little crosses. So I thought I would share it with you here.

Dear Children, Youth, Catechists and Teachers,

As you know a group of parishioners traveled to Israel in October. While we were there we thought of all of you so often and we wanted to share a small token of our trip with you. These little crosses were purchased for you in Bethlehem, and each one has been blessed by Rev. Peter.

The crosses are made from the wood of the Olive Tree which is a native tree common in Israel. Olive trees have been important in Israel since ancient time. Olive oil was commonly used for cooking, lighting lamps, and ointments. In the Hebrew Scripture olive oil was used to anoint Kings, and used to light the lamps in the Temple. In the Christian Scripture, Jesus prayed on the Mount of Olives, and he went there to the Garden of Gethsemane after the Last Supper just before he died and rose again.

Your little cross could be carried in your pocket, or kept on your nightstand to hold while praying. You are also welcome to chose a string and make your cross into a necklace.

We hope you enjoy this little cross and that it is a blessing to you!


  1. Leslie, what a cool idea and thoughtful gift.

    We have Russian olive trees in our backyard. Here in Wyoming they are now considered as a noxious weed and no one is allowed to plant them. Apparently they have pushed out some of the native trees here. I don't care, though, I like them. They are very hardy (obviously) and when they bloom the smell is heavenly. And now, I will think of Gethsemane when I look at them.

    1. Hi Susan ~ How wonderful to have an olive tree prayer garden in your own backyard! Very cool! Thanks for your comment!

  2. Hi Leslie - I love this post! Look at those trees - they are so gnarly and wonderful...and it seems like such a soft, quiet wonder Jesus came here so often.

    1. Hi M.A.! I had just the same feeling about the place when I was there. It must have been a welcome place of peace for Jesus and the disciples. Thanks for reading!


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