Every home has them. Every church has them, too. Shove things inside with the thought, “I’ll just put it here until I can deal with it and decide what to do with it.”
Our parish has one and Monday was cleaning out day. There is a water leak inside of it, so it smells like a swamp and is moldy. Shelving needs to be built to store the boxes of candles. Out came plastic tubs full of old vestments and altar cloths. Musty but mold free. Out came yard sale items and books. The latter went into the garbage! Boxes and boxes of candles, an electric candle stand, a brass cross and old Royal Doors. The Council will have a brief meeting Sunday to decide what to do with the stuff. The latter three are in a condition that is suitable, with a little cleaning, to be used in a mission church if they are wanted. The tubs of material are worth going through to salvage what can be salvaged and burn what can’t. I volunteered to do that. <See my big grin?>
In a kitchen cupboard I hauled out 6-8 framed paper icons, all of which should be burned. They are musty and moldy. Draped over one of the frames was a black rosary. Upon close examination there appeared to be engraving on the back. The very tiny beads were light in weight and felt hollow. Could this be sterling silver and not some dirty black beads? I asked if I could take it home and try cleaning it up. Below are photos of what was uncovered. I’ll be returning it to church for it to be returned to the family if anyone knows who it belongs to. Or perhaps Father will allow it to be draped over another icon on the wall.
Nonetheless, to shine up a 65 year old rosary – imagine the prayers and tears said while holding it – gave me a bit of joy.