I am not sure the order I have these in is logical. Suggestions?
DEFINITION OF A CATHOLIC HOLY CARD
“Holy Cards” are mass produced images on paper that have been blessed by a priest and are meant to be used by the Catholic faithful for devotional purposes. They typically depict the image of a Saint. Others may tell a biblical story or commemorate the occasion of a first sacrament. The reverse may or may not have a prayer. The circulation of these cards has been an important part of the visual culture of Roman Catholics throughout their history.
“EPHEMERA OR HOLY CARD”?
As you are deciding EXACTLY what it is you want to collect you need to know the difference between two printed materials that are a part of the Catholic culture. The first one is called “ephemera”, which is defined as:
1. something of no lasting significance —usually used in plural
2. ephemera plural : paper items (as posters, broadsides, and tickets) that were originally meant to be discarded after use but
have since become collectibles.
Ephemera includes postcards or small booklets that are handed out for special religious occasions such as missions, retreats, and evangelization. Some of them have very collectible artwork or prayers. So if you find that is what you really like, by all means collect away. In many “lots” of cards you may find ephemera mixed in with Holy Cards.
“Mass Cards” or “Spiritual Bouquets” are ephemera which are a gift of Masses or prayers said for an individual by a group for a particular occasion. These are usually offered by religious communities for fundraising purposes. Many of the vintage variety can be quite ornate and well worth collecting.