May 15, 2012
RE: Proper Disposal of Sacred Objects
My dear brother priests and religious sisters:
When the use new English translation of the Roman Missal becomes fully effective on the first Sunday of Advent this year, one of the matters to attend to will be the proper disposal of the old Sacramentary.
Once a religious object is blessed and dedicated for divine worship or veneration, it must be treated with reverence and not be used in either an improper or profane way (cf. Code of Canon Law, #1171). This applies to books, vestments, sacramentals and even spoiled Sacred Species.
The old Sacramentary may be burned and returned to the ground. They may also be placed inside the caskets of the Catholic faithful and buried with the mortal remains. Old and tattered vestments including albs and sotanas must be burned likewise and not used as rags. Vessels like chalices and ciboria that cannot be repaired anymore must be melted and reused for sacred vessels again. It is not permitted to sell or give away monstrances, reliquaries and vessels and use them as house decorations. The unused holy oils of last year must be burned or used for the vigil lamps for the Blessed Sacrament. A broken rosary or statue that cannot be repaired anymore must also be buried.
What has been dedicated to God must not be thrown out like any disposable object. They must be treated with respect and reverence always. In all these, the admonition is to always keep in mind the sense of the sacred in a world that seems so engrossed on the mundane. We are sacraments of the presence of God ourselves.
+SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS
Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan