Q :  We all have accumulated a lot of religious objects, such as prayer cards, rosaries, and pictures of Saints. But some are either worn out or broken. What is the most appropriate way of disposing them ? I have heard that it is a sin to toss them into the garbage ?
【 Question from 】 Toronto, Canada

Fr. Francis : 

This must be one of the most asked questions for those who have been collecting lots of statues, prayer cards, rosaries and the like. Objects like these that are blessed or consecrated are holy to the Lord and therefore cannot be discarded like other materials. The Church, since the middle age, has given specific instructions for how to dispose of them.

In a nutshell:

  1. Objects that can be burned, may be burned, and the ashes to be buried or return to the earth
  2. Otherwise, they should be buried in the ground
  3. Objects with precious metals like chalice or ciborium or empty reliquary may be melted down and the metal reused or buried, or simply buried in whole.