A Catholic aware of their blessed items and their proper disposal can end up almost with a drawer full of blessed sacramentals no longer usable. The normal disposal for blessed items is burning or burying, not simply tossing them in the trash. Over the years I have managed to collect blessed palm branches, warn out rosaries, brown scapulars, and other blessed items. Burning is not feasible for Rosaries and the thought of burying these items in my yard does not appeal to me. I think of a future owner digging into the ground and finding all of these items in various states of deterioration and wondering if the previous owner might not have been a Catholic serial killer in the sense of one who only killed Catholics and disposed of them in the back yard.
So here is my proposed solution. Parishes should keep a box up front marked for disposal of blessed items. This would be great on a couple of levels. 1) People can have blessed items properly disposed when no longer usable. 2) It would give people the awareness that blessed items are to be disposed of in a particular way and not just trashed. 3) Teach people that blessed items are of some importance in the first place.
So what do you think of this idea?
I agree with your sentiments, and likewise have a collection of ‘need to be properly disposed of’ articles. What a great idea!
That’s a wonderful idea! I have often wondered what to do with these items also.
Darned good idea, Jeff. Where the Poor Box used to be, perhaps? When we built our new church, blessed items were collected and put in the cornerstone . . . but new churches don’t happen as often as we might like.
I agree that this would be a good idea. I’m going to put it in the Parish suggestion box (if I can find one, if not I’ll e-mail the Pastor). Last week I went to a viewing of a friend’s Dad. When it came time to say the rosary I got mine out and found that it was broken. The cross broke and the Corpus was missing. I was considering gluing it back together until I saw that an arm had broken off the Corpus as well. After the viewing I asked the Priest that led the Prayer Service if he could take care of it for me. He said that he would, his Monastery had a burn box just for Sacramentals though normally they just burn the palms. It’s kinda cool to think that my Rosary may become the ashes for Ash Wednesday this year.
I think that I’m going to round up all of the Sacramentals that I have, put them in ziplock baggies, and give them to the Priest after Mass.
Rosaries and medals can be broken up, and the metal recycled. Bits of chain and scraps of metal are longer blessed sacred items.
Some years ago, St. John Cantius in Chicago commissioned a monstrance, and later on, had a metal screen made for an icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa. On those occasions parishioners were asked to donate old gold and silver items to be used in the crafting of the monstrance and the screen. It was a perfect opportunity to dispose of old sterling silver crucifixes and medals, and to contribute to beautification of the House of God.
I think that’s a great idea. I have a broken rosary and some blessed chalk that I’ve been meaning to bury and I just haven’t gotten around to doing it, so this would be a perfect solution. I’m going to mention it to some people who work at my parish and see what they think.
Sounds good to me. Many people in my parish just leave their broken rosaries in the vesibule.
We don’t have a formal receptacle but there are a lot of people who bring things into the rectory for us to “take care of.” Of course, we collect the palms for Ash Wednesday and then sift through the other items to see what can be repaired and passed along. [And then there is the bottle (about 8 oz.) of water from Lourdes that Fr. said could be pored into the ground near our rose garden. But I couldn’t get the top off of the bottle, so it is still sitting on a shelf in my office – a strange, toxic green liquid that looks like it might explode. T0 digress, I have a small bottle of water that I brought home from the shrine of Ste. Anne de Beaupre in 1970 and it still looks pristine.}
Good idea. I vote for an open box, with a suitable notice informing parishioners about appropriate use. But open so that if you were the type to take two broken rosaries and rebuild them into one rosary and one chaplet (and maybe a first communion pendant for good measure), there you’d be.
Excellent idea. I’ll take it to my parish priest.
I already sent mine to the Vatican as relics in anticipation of my sainthood 😉
Apparently they will accept broken rosaries for donation.
FREE ROSARY REPAIR SERVICE
Send your broken Rosaries in a padded envelope to: Betty and Dick Holden (November to April) 7930 Estero Blvd., Apartment 502, Fort Myers Beach, Fl 33931; (May to October) Crane Place, Simsbury, CT 06070. They will be repaired and returned within a week of receipt. Donations of old and broken Rosaries are also accepted which will be repaired and sent on to the missions. Include a note indicating if your Rosary is for repair and return or if it is a donation. In Florida, call 239-463-3993, in Connecticut call 860-658-6330; or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
I think this is a fabulous idea! You could also “rescue” things from the pile like rosary pieces and put them to good use. 🙂
I kind of like the idea of little blessed items being buried in random places. Like little grace mines.
I’ve read that Mother Teresa would bury miraculous medals around properties she intended to acquire for the order.
Not like St. Josephs being buried or other superstitious nonsense. But a little substantial seed, representing our hope or confidence in God. Who knows what they might encounter, from beneath or being unearthed. And everyone could use an encounter with grace, right?
It’s just one more bit of info that needs to get out.
Great idea! In fact I think I’m going to “steal” (i.e. “creatively acquire”) this to use as a K of C project in our Council for this upcoming Lenten season!
My late mother had an enormous collection of rosaries which I did not know how to dispose of, until I visited a parish in my area that has a perpetual adoration chapel. The chapel had a basket full of rosaries and chaplets in the back (for adorers to use). I brought a handful of my mom’s old rosaries with me on my next visit and simply left them in the basket.
It’s always been my understanding that blessed palms are burned to make ashes for Ash Wednesday. Every year I make a note to myself to gather up the pile of dried out blessed palms I have accumulated over several years and bring it to church the Sunday before Ash Wednesday. And every year, I forget to do this!
Sorry to be the dissenter in the chorus of cheering, but, doing that would leave one more thing for me to do. Even though I hear from laity on a regular basis about “oh, I’ll take care of that,” the truth is that for them it’s a volunteer position and they will get to it when they get to it.
Second, I would be the one fielding all the questions. Normally that doesn’t bother me but with limited time between Masses and the preparation that goes into getting ready, the last thing I need is another query of “what’s that for?” and “can I put this in?”
Jeff, it’s an interesting idea, but I would say no. Just bury them in your property.