Where is a relic supposed to be kept?

I was under the impression that saints’ relics are supposed to be in the altar somewhere.

At my in-laws’ parish, they have a relic of their patron saint displayed in the foyer, under a large holy water fountain surmounted by a statue of the saint herself. It looks to me like a bone chip. It’s in a circular case fronted with either glass or plastic.

Is this OK? It just seems sort of… I dunno… a little irreverent.

we have a glass case where 5 relics are kept for veneration. ( i think thats the correct word?) i do a lot of praying in front of them. 2 of the relics are of the true cross. the other 3 saints./COLOR]

They are to be treated with great respect and secured in some manner, so that they may not simply “walk off” and be lost or mistreated.

Every altar must have some relics in it, but not all relics must be placed in an altar.

Here in Europe it’s quite common to see relics on display, especially in older (mediaeval) churches. They’re rarely seen in 19th-20th century churches but there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be, notwithstanding previous comment about security and respect.

You quite often get them on display in older (Catholic) schools, universities, seminaries etc.

Altars are no longer required to have relics.

Really? Wow, I did not know that! But they still usually do, right? I’ve only been to 2 churches’ dedications but they both had relics placed in the altar; would it be common not to do this? Is this just something the American bishops have ruled on, or is it universal?

‘Permanent’ altars are required to have relics. But movable altars aren’t. Since most new altars in the US are not bolted or mortared into the floor, they’re considered movable.

Thanks to all who answered. Now that I know, I won’t worry about it anymore. :smiley:

Can. 1237~1 Fixed altars are to be dedicated, movable ones either dedicated or blessed, according to the rites prescribed in the liturgical books.

~2 The ancient tradition of placing relics of Martyrs or of other Saints within a fixed altar is to be retained, in accordance with the rites prescribed in the liturgical books.

Notice however that the wording does not indicate that it is required. Many new altars even if fixed ones, no longer have an altar stone in which the relic was placed.

A sacred relic is kept lock and key behind encased glass.

~ Wesley

Actually, the altar stone is the movable altar, even if enclosed in a big mensa.

A fixed altar is traditionally built down to the ground, and the church is built around it.

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