The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

What do you give the newly ordained?

gift-blue.gif‘Tis the season for ordinations. I get a lot of e-mails this time of year, from readers wondering what sort of gift they should get for that newly ordained priest or deacon.

When I was ordained, I got a lot of gift certificates for religious stores. (This place is a good online resource, by the way.) And stoles.  Quite a few stoles.  My wife gave me the lovely Marian-themed dalmatic that I wore for my Mass of Thanksgiving.  (Her parents, meantime, gave me a complete set of dalmatics, one for each season.).  One useful gift: a “chapel” edition of the sacramentary, for home reference. The priest who vested me gave me a nice fleece jacket with the deacon cross embroidered on front.  And there was this especially thoughtful gesture from our parish DRE: a beautiful flower arrangement for my wife, delivered on the morning of my ordination.

Of course, you can never go wrong with the kind of gift that folds and fits in a wallet, either.

Finally, if your budget is limited, one gift that everyone can afford — and that always fits — is prayer.

Any thoughts?

Comments read comments(19)
post a comment

posted June 9, 2010 at 8:30 am

Likewise, of all the kind and generous gifts that I received, I believe the beautiful floral arrangement sent to my wife on the morning of my ordination by good friends, truly touched my heart most of all.

report abuse


posted June 9, 2010 at 8:41 am

I like the prayer idea the best; especially a nice card letting the ordained know that you will be offering a holy hour or having a special mass said for them.
For those short of funds, the Holy Hour is totally free of course, and a great gift of one’s time in addition to the “power of the hour.” It can easily be given by a simple nice card with a note that the giver will be making a special holy hour.
All said, my favorite gift to both give and receive is the gift of the holy mass. I don’t think people often realize how powerful of a gift the mass is to give to a living person, especially when we are alive and still able to receive the merit from the graces.
Here’s what the Pieta Book has to say about the Holy Mass. Note #11, and it will be obvious why the mass is not only a great gift, but the gift that “keeps on giving” for all eterntiy:
===========From the Pieta Book
Graces Derived From Assisting at Holy Mass
1. The Mass is Calvary continued.
2. Every Mass is worth as much as the sacrifice of Our Lord’s life, sufferings and death.
3. Holy Mass is the most powerful atonement for your sins.
4. At the hour of death the Masses you have heard will be your greatest consolation.
5. Every Mass will go with you to judgment and plead for pardon.
6. At Mass you can diminish more or less temporal punishment due to your sins, according to your fervor.
7. Assisting devoutly at Holy Mass you render to the sacred humanity of Our Lord the greatest homage.
8. He supplies for many of your negligences and omissions.
9. He forgives the venial sins which you have not confessed. The power of Satan over you is diminished.
10. You afford the souls in Purgatory the greatest possible relief.
11. One Mass heard during life will be of more benefit to you than manyheard for you after your death.
12. You are preserved from dangers and misfortunes which otherwise might have befallen you. You shorten your Purgatory.
13. Every Mass wins for you a higher degree of glory in Heaven.
14. You receive the priest’s blessing which Our Lord ratifies in Heaven.
15. You kneel amidst a multitude of holy angels, who are present at the adorable Sacrifice with reverential awe.
16. You are blessed in your temporal goods and affairs.

report abuse

F C Bauerschmidt

posted June 9, 2010 at 9:17 am

The problem with dalmatics, of course, is that one might want them to match the priests chasuble. I myself don’t think that is all that important, but some do.
For my ordination I had my parents and brother buy a matching dalmatic and chasuble as a gift to the parish. I won’t be able to take them with me when/if I am assigned elsewhere, but I’m glad to know they’re there for future deacons.

report abuse

Susan Kehoe

posted June 9, 2010 at 9:22 am

Well one thing you might want to reconsider is giving St.Lawrence (the deacon)prayer cards if the Deacons name is Lawrence. My husband must have received 200 of them when he was ordained! heh. Also St. Stephan prayer cards are popular.
My husband really appreciated the four volume Liturgy of the hours that my parents gave him. It is pricey though.
I really appreciated the gift certificate to a local restaurant after four long years of formation.

report abuse

Jeff S.

posted June 9, 2010 at 9:56 am

Recently, a fine young man known to our family was ordained to the priesthood. After much consideration and deliberation, which got us nowhere, I approached our pastor and asked him if cash would be an appropriate gift. “By all means,” he said. “That way he can get anything he wants or needs with it.” So my wife and I put a new $100 bill in the card, and a thank you note received yesterday described how much it was appreciated.
So spot on, Deacon Greg. Cash works.

report abuse


posted June 9, 2010 at 10:18 am

i would not buy any liturgical books unless you are sure he does not already have them, and
especially not a sacramentary since it will be outdated within a year or so with the new mass translations starting. most men who are ordained have a secret wish list of books they would really like and since most liturgical/biblical books are expensive, they usually cannot afford them so cash really is a big help.

report abuse


posted June 9, 2010 at 10:20 am

I think cash, a gift card or a gift certificate to a restaurant are nice gifts.
Two useful gifts are a pocket holy water sprinkler and a nice pyx for communion calls. Both of these items can also be engraved.

report abuse

Deacon Dean

posted June 9, 2010 at 10:25 am

We have a Catholic Religious shop that will keep a “wish list” in a binder at their counter for anyone who wants to know what might be needed. I got several nice reference books via my list.
I love prayer cards. I use them for bookmarks and in that way keep am reminded of the thoughtfulness of friends and family.
Cash is good, too. As time progresses I find that when I get a cash gift it usually goes toward a particular cause that I am fond of, providing tuition support to some students in the Archdiocese of Tororo, Uganda, E. Africa.

report abuse


posted June 9, 2010 at 11:21 am

Diaconate Ordination gifts…
1. Dalmtic(s) for sure. White/gold is always a good choice.
2a. Clerical shirt (with a note to not be shy to wear it for ministry)
2b. Black, Gray and/or White Oxford button shirt with Deacon cross embroidered (in case clerical shirt isn’t kosher for your ministry or diocese). Wear this with black slacks and the message is quite clear.
3. If you know the guy and what he uses for LOTH a nice leather zipper case is always a good gift.
4. Artistic print, post card, figurine, icon (whichever you can find) of Jesus Washing Feet. Have seen a few good ones and nice reminder to have in home, office, etc.

report abuse

Deacon John Leary

posted June 9, 2010 at 11:46 am

I knew that many friends of mine wanted to give me something, but they weren’t sure what to do. When I sent the invitations out to all of them I suggested that all gifts of money would be donated to the organization “Food for the Poor” in order to build a dream home for someone so desperately in need, the poorest of the poor. It was the perfect way of explaining what my ministry is all about and, not to mention, spread the Good News of the Gospel to all of them. It still is very moving for me to think that this house is the result of my ordination.
[John…that’s a GREAT idea! Dcn. G.]

report abuse


posted June 9, 2010 at 1:24 pm

Wow Dcn. John I’m going to keep that link, as it will come handy for more than just ordination gift ideas. Thanks

report abuse

Fr Wilson

posted June 9, 2010 at 2:58 pm

One of the most useful gifts I received at ordination to the Priesthood was a four-volume set of “Butler’s Lives of the Saints.” It was a GREAT resource. The Instruction to the current Lectionary points out that the homily is preached on the readings or some other aspect of the daily Liturgy: the saint of the day is often a real option.
“Butler’s Lives of the Saints” is available in several formats (, including dingle-volume. “Oxford Book of Saints” is another useful, paperback gift — give it to your deacon with a medal of his patron saint or of Saint Stephen the Deacon or St Lawrence the Deacon (Daughters of St Paul 212/754-1110).
Or a REALLY NICE gift certificate — a show, or dinner or both — for the Deacon and his wife.

report abuse

Fr. Jim

posted June 9, 2010 at 3:51 pm

I’d recommend a monetary gift unless you know a person’s personal likes very well. Liturgical tastes vary widely. For vestments some guys love “Holy Rood” stuff while others shop out of religious goods catalogs. Pictures, plaques, etc. are nice but they tend to pile up over time and (priests particularly) often have limited wall space.
I do understand that some religious goods stores have gift registries now (similar to the ones for weddings), although I don’t think I would ever personally employ it.
The monetary gift allows flexibility for the person to purchase what they need or to give to their favorite charity.

report abuse

Paula Gonzales Rohrbacher

posted June 10, 2010 at 1:52 am

In the shamelessly self promoting category: Our company, New Jerusalem Workshop offers icon prints, note cards and icon prayer shrines. In addition to icons of Christ and Our Lady, we also have an icon of the Synaxis of the Deacons and Deaconesses (of the early Church).

report abuse

Viator Catholicus

posted June 10, 2010 at 10:37 pm

How about a cassock or biretta?
After all, a Latin Rite deacon should be able to function in both the ordinary and extraordinary forms of the liturgy. He’d need the biretta for the latter either to function as deacon or subdeacon.
Another item might be Fortescue’s Ceremonies of the Roman Rite.

report abuse

Paul Mueller

posted June 17, 2010 at 5:33 pm

I will always treasure the four volume Liturgy of the Hours, large type edition, that was a gift for my ordination to the permanent diaconate. The group of gifters are on my permanent prayer list.

report abuse


posted July 25, 2010 at 1:26 pm

One of the most useful gifts I received was the one I get it from bethlehem . It was very important religious gift for me .
God Bless

report abuse

Elizabeth Lawson

posted August 4, 2014 at 7:54 am

An ideal gift for the ordained is a newly ordained is a stole or a chasuble or even a new church banner. Vibrant and striking designs are available to be shipped worldwide from my website

Elizabeth Lawson (Owner and chief designer at church vestments worldwide)

report abuse

Pingback: Best Online Cord Blood Donation Kit New Orleans | My Cord Blood Reviews

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to and may be used by in accordance with the agreements.

Previous Posts

This blog is no longer active
This blog is no longer being actively updated. Please feel free to browse the archives or: Read our most popular inspiration blog See our most popular inspirational video Take our most popular quiz ...

posted 10:42:40pm Dec. 12, 2010 | read full post »

One day more
A reminder: "The Deacon's Bench" is closed! Please enjoy the archives! ...

posted 11:26:20pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

Meet Montana's married priest
Earlier this week, I posted an item about Montana getting its first married priest. Now a local TV station has hopped on the bandwagon. Take a look, below. ...

posted 10:29:55pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

Big day in the Big Easy: 10 new deacons
Deacon Mike Talbot has the scoop: 10 men today were ordained as Permanent Deacons for the Archdiocese of New Orleans. This group of men was formally selected on the day the evacuation of New Orleans began as Hurricane Katrina approached. The ...

posted 6:55:42pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

Gaudete! And let's break out a carol or two...
"Gesu Bambino," anyone? This is one of my favorites, and nobody does it better than these gals: Kathleen Battle and Frederica von Staade. Enjoy. ...

posted 1:04:10pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.