What are the rules for discarding worn, broken or old rosaries or other religious objects?
Thanks for asking this. I was wondering about it when I noticed a whole lot of “vintage” rosaries, altar crosses, even chalices on eBay. Are they “deconsecrated” in some way?
Commonly, one can bury the religious item that is broken.
Many people who repair rosaries like myself, like to get the broken ones for spare vintage parts and future repairs.
As for the items on ebay…we can’t know for sure where they came from unless it is specified in the listing. Many churches are closed and the contents auctioned off, which is an awful practice. People like to buy these vintage items as gifts for the religious or to a chapel, or a seminarian. They feel like they are “rescuing” the item and returning it back to its proper purpose.
Many times, the items are fake, or even stolen so buyer beware.
Ebay tries its best to monitor these things.
I’ve seen many listings for simple holy cards and they are listed under “Sacramentals” “Relics” “nuns items” and other odd categories. However people obtain these things, often they are not Catholic themselves and have no idea what they have, if it is rare, common, or even that they shouldn’t be offering these things for sale!
Once I saw a framed picture, very nice, listed as Saint Peter, when it was clearly St. Joseph. I emailed the vendor, who appreciated the correction.
But to answer the question: bury them if they are beyond use.
As far as old or broken Roasaries, small Crucifixes & medals; they can be given to the Legion of Mary at Church. They use use them to make Rosaries.
Take them to your local Catholic Church. I’ve retrieved the from the “free” basket in our gift shop and given them away to the kids in CCD.
What about Catholic Bibles that are in good shape, just a translation I don’t care for anymore?
I just read an article regarding this in the Faith magazine. It said items can be burned, or statutes broken into pieces and can be thrown out in trash. OTOH, it stated to bury it or rid of it in a respectful location. I don’t think the trash would be considered respectable. I was just as confused after reading article. I have a few statues that are broken. Also, some old books that reek of a smelly old basement. (one old bible)
My parish has a little canister in lobby for broken rosaries and scapulars.
Same. We use different translations in Bible study. They’ll come in handy. And don’t worry about the condition.
If you don’t have a gift shop, ask if a basket could be placed in the entrance where discarded religious items could be place for free distribution.
Let me suggest checking out ebay for religious medals. I’ve purchased three marcasite miraculous medals which I wear daily. I do it to provide a sign for someone out there who just might see my necklace and have a change of heart e.g. going for an abortion.
Yes, I buy vintage medals because they’re beautiful, they don’t make them anymore like they use to, and they draw attention and comment. Check it out.