What can you do with an old sacramentary? Here’s one suggestion:
After the switch to a new Mass translation, old liturgical books should be respectfully buried, either intact or after being burned, according to the U.S. bishops.
“Whether or not the Sacramentary has been blessed by an official rite, it is appropriate to treat it with care,” the bishops’ Secretariat for Divine Worship said in a recent response to several queries from U.S. Catholics. “Its disposal should be handled with respect.”
The bishops’ liturgy office recommends “burying the Sacramentary in an appropriate location on church grounds, or perhaps in a parish cemetery,” after the switch to a new liturgical translation on Nov. 27.
“Some have even suggested following a custom used in various Eastern churches,” they noted, “whereby liturgical books or Bibles are placed in the coffin of the deceased as a sign of devotion and love for the liturgy.”
Some Catholics may be surprised to learn that it is appropriate – and even customary – to burn or bury old liturgical books and other religious items.
According to the U.S. bishops’ secretariat, the ashes of liturgical books should be collected and “placed in the ground in an appropriate location on church grounds.”