Radio Show

If a Wedding Engagement Ends, What Do You Do With a Blessed Ring?

A listener named Christina asks Father Dave about a difficult situation regarding a blessed item. She asks, “What do you do with an engagement ring that’s been blessed when the engagement ends?” Christina continues that her former fiance ended their relationship and will no longer speak to her. She says, “We had a priest bless us and the ring when we got engaged, which was such a beautiful moment. I’d prefer to return the ring to him, but am struggling to figure out the best way to proceed.”

Father Dave first offers his sympathy and prayers for her broken engagement. He addresses her desire to return the ring to her former fiance. “He may not pick up the phone or answer texts, but he may not have moved…you would probably want to put a little insurance on it, but you certainly could mail it back to him,” Father Dave says. “If you find a way to return it to him, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t do that because it’s blessed.”

LISTEN: Marriage, Annulment, and Everything in Between

He offers other alternatives to returning the ring. “You also could let it bless somebody else. One idea might be that you give it to a local Catholic parish that does wedding preparation for couples,” he says. “The priest of the parish might think of some young couple who he knows is thinking about getting engaged and they can’t afford a ring.”

Father Dave expands on how our used items can be a blessing for others. “I know somebody who works professionally in helping people organize and very often cleans out their houses…one of her real maxims is that you divide things into three categories,” he says. “One is things you’re going to keep, [you would say] I still need these or it’s too sentimental to give away. Next is just junk, and the dumpster is the right place for it. Then our third category is called ‘who else can I bless with this?’”

“Maybe it’s a chair that’s not completely worn out or something from a home office that somebody could really use. When we say ‘bless’ in this instance, we mean who else could benefit from that,” he continues. “So I would say that something similar could apply in this situation that somebody else might be able to be blessed by this ring.”

RELATED: A Spiritual Spring Cleaning: The Surprising Ways Decluttering Enriched My Faith Life

Father Dave notes, “The only thing we would ask you not to do with anything that’s been blessed is to chuck it in the garbage. Even something like a blessed rosary or a cross that has broken…I wouldn’t think that you would do that with a valuable thing like an engagement ring, but in terms of being blessed, the only thing that Church would really rather you not do is merely throw it away.”

He concludes, “It sounds like this has been a painful chapter in your life, and this is one thing that is hanging around and is a painful reminder. Maybe there would be at least some steps towards emotional closure if you were to find a new home for this ring.”