Should we tip a priest for a convalidation?

In May, my husband and I will be having a convalidation ceremony. The priest is very kind and is working with us (scheduling special meetings at odd times since we drive trucks, etc). He’s going a bit out of his way to help us (well, me, anyway—my husband is not Catholic and has no intention of changing that).

I have seen in other various posts that people pay or tip the priest. Can you suggest an appropriate amount? I will be paying for the use of the church (between $250 and $500). I just would like some thoughts on what to give him to show my appreciation for his help.

Please do not refer to the amount you give your priest as a “tip.” Tips are given to service personnel in various capacities. What a priest receives is called a “stipend.” It is a sum of money given to him for his support, without any obligation on his part to offer a Mass or some other priestly service in return. (If you want to give a stipend for a Mass to be offered, you must specify that.)

As for how much to give, you could call the parish and ask if there is an expected amount that is ordinarily given. If the parish cannot offer a suggested amount for a stipend, I recommend figuring out how many hours this priest has given you of his time (meetings, phone calls, etc.). Perhaps a reasonable amount would be $25 per hour, with a minimum of $100 (assuming that is within your means). So, for example, if the priest gave you three hours of his time, you’d give him $100. If he gave you five hours, you’d give him $125.

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