The leaves of the palm tree used in many churches as part of the procession and the observances of the Palm Sunday worship services. The palms symbolize the response of the people to the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem at the beginning of Holy Week. They are burned before the following Ash Wednesday, their remains becoming the ashes.
Source: A Dictionary for United Methodists, Alan K. Waltz, Copyright 1991, Abingdon Press. Used by permission.