When your rosary breaks or your crucifix falls apart, what to do? What should be done with these holy objects? Is it okay to simply throw them in the trash?
Sacramentals are sacred signs and provide for us grace (spiritual help) through the intercession of the Church. They can be any number of religious items that have been blessed by a priest or deacon — a rosary, medal, crucifix, or even a candle. And if the item has been blessed by a member of the clergy, then it needs to be treated with due care.
Therefore, Catholics are instructed to dispose of old sacramentals in a way that shows due reverence. All sacramentals can be either burned or buried in order to properly dispose of them. This type of disposal honors their sacred purpose and returns them to the earth in a dignified way. If a person is unable to do either, the sacramental may be dropped off at the parish office and someone on staff can take care of it.
Remember, the physical things we see are only one part of a much larger universe, a spiritual world around us that we cannot see, but which constantly affects our daily life. By treating sacramentals with respect, we recognize this basic truth and honor the heavenly blessing that was placed on the object.
Philip Kosloski, How do you dispose of old sacramental?
Excerpted from Aleteia.com, October 6, 2017. With permission