Friday, December 12, 2008

Gift ideas for Father

A guest post from FrB

Obviously the gift will depend on how close a friend the recipient is, how much money you're willing to spend and whether or not you're pooling with a bunch of people.

Now, the obvious gift for an ordination is a vestment of some sort... If you know the ordinand's taste well then this can be a very much appreciated gift. If you don't mind it not being a surprise, then I'd strongly recommend you consult with the ordinand first. He may already have enough stoles, etc... or he might want one in a particular colour. It'd be annoying to receive 4 white stoles and to have to go out and buy a purple stole after ordination. Another nice gift for an ordinand to receive is a liturgical book. Again, consult with the recipient. A considerate priest-friend gave me 'Pastoral Care for the Sick' (the rite for Communion for the Sick, Viaticum, Anointing, etc...) when I was made a deacon and it's obviously something which I've used a huge amount. Likewise, my copy of The Order of Christian Funerals and The Rite of Penance were gifts, and I'm reminded of the donors when I use them. Fr Sean Finegan's 'Consecrations, Blessings and Prayers' is an excellent resource, and I think any priest would appreciate it. A gift token for a liturgical/theological bookshop might be appropriate too.

I wouldn't recommend getting a pyx. I got one when I was ordained deacon, and another 4 or 5 when I was ordained priest. I think most newly ordained priests probably have several pyxes. Anyway, liturgical gifts are ideal... practical and very meaningful, but I'd strongly recommend consulting the recipient first. Newly ordained priests also probably receive enough nice pens to last them a lifetime.

Moving away from the liturgical, probably the most practical gift I received in my first year of ministry was the GPS my brother gave me. Parish ministry involves a lot of driving, sometimes in unfamiliar areas, and there are lots of addresses to remember. Other useful bits and pieces that I've received - black shoulder bag suitable for an alb and stole, leather folder for documents and a number of pieces of art to decorate my rooms in the parochial house. In terms of clothing, a warm cap, gloves or scarf might be appreciated by a priest for the winter.

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