Finding a gift for a newly ordained priest can prove difficult, especially if you do not have a personal relationship with them. While it can be easy to assume that the best gift for a newly ordained cleric is something religious, you can find practical alternatives that will still prove to be as meaningful. If you are looking to gift your local deacon, priest, or pastor but have no idea where to start, keep reading as we explore four practical gifts that you can gift your local cleric.
1. Clergy Collar or Clerical Collar
While still in the seminary and as part of their vocation training, young seminarians are required to wear clerical shirts and clerical collars. The clergy collar was first included in the clerical dress as a means for clergy to identify themselves as members of the Holy Church. The collar is a thin but rigid white collar worn around a black tab collar shirt. Other versions of the clergy collar include the clerical collar. This refers to the white collar that runs around a priest’s neck.
These days, a clerical collar can be incorporated into suits, so it’s important to know what kind of collar pairs well with clerical shirts. An option to consider could be a detachable collar. With the help of studs, this is usually fitted to a collarless shirt and is a great option for male clerics. Alternatively, high collared clergy shirts sometimes come with a neckband collar, these are more flattering for female clerics. To ensure a comfortable fit, make sure you know your new cleric’s shirt collar size.
2. Custom Jewelry
Jewelry is the perfect gift for every occasion. Going a step further and engraving the jewelry is a beautiful way to show that you care and are thinking about the recipient of the gift. Jewelry accessories are so versatile, and a professional jeweler will tell you that you can have almost anything engraved. The canvas for engraved jewelry is so big that you can have a promise ring, necklace, pendant, and bracelet engraved. If at a loss on what to have engraved, consider the ordination date, their birthday day, or even their year of birth.
Another popular practice among newly ordained priests is getting wedding bands, as a symbol of one marrying the church. These wedding bands can be gifted by the new cleric’s family, as a way of passing down a family heirloom. As a gift idea, you can have custom ring engravings to include their birthstone or some of the primary liturgical colors such as red, or rose gold.
3. Vestment Luggage
Clergy vestments are extremely delicate and therefore require special care. To begin with, avoid non-woven or plastic bags. Although more affordable and easy to find, they are not breathable and could end up causing more damage to the new cleric’s vestments. In warm weather, non-woven bags can result in the discoloration of cassocks, clergy shirts, and other bejeweled pieces.
Instead, opt for a garment bag made from sustainable and biodegradable fabric like cotton. Besides being good for the environment, cotton garment bags customized for clerical garments are easy to maintain. This is because cotton is easy to clean, and it dries fast as well. Additionally, cotton is a breathable fabric that provides insulation in cold weather, while reflecting heat in warm weather. Knowing this, a cotton garment bag makes for the perfect gift as it will provide the new cleric with a long term storage solution.
4. Liturgical Texts
At some point, it is expected that the new cleric will be required to conduct wedding ceremonies, baptisms, lead service, and perform other religious ceremonies. To do this, they will be required to read from prayer books, the Bible, hymnals, and other religious books. In this way, additional notebooks, and other religious stationery may prove to be a welcome gift to the new cleric.