From a reader:
My question is what would be appropriate gifts for a young man to be ordained to the transitional diaconate? He is a convert and like most of us, very much enjoys the traditions and physically beautiful aspects of the Faith. He does not have family in our area, so our women’s groups have sort of mothered him along. As a group and individually, we will want to provide him with suitable, tangible gifts to accompany the graces he will receive. I know once a deacon always a deacon, but would an ordained priest appropriately wear a dalmatic if assisting as a deacon? We don’t want to presume on his ordination to the priesthood, but want our gifts to be made with that hope in mind.
No, I wouldn’t get him a dalmatic.
Being a transitional deacon is not a guarantee that he will be ordained a priest, but it is fairly sure. Thus, it would be best to get him things useful for his priesthood, or at least his newly minted clerical state.
Does he have a cassock? Biretta? If he has a cassock does he have a fascia? Clerical clothing or gift certificate for the same… a black suit perhaps from a men’s store. In the liturgical line, a priest’s nice stole… which for his remaining time as a deacon he can wear in the manner of a deacon. Breviaries, if he doesn’t already have them. A very nice alb according to his tastes or a nice surplice. For ordinations I often have given a very nice rosary (and there are hints about how to choose one for a priest/deacon, btw.) Cash is always welcome.