It’s helpful to know a person’s beliefs when purchasing a sympathy gift, especially if you’re buying a gift other than flowers. For example, gifts with references to Heaven may not be appreciated by someone who doesn’t believe in the afterlife. Offering prayers to show support may not be received well if the recipient doesn’t believe in God or any higher power.
On the other hand, if you know that the deceased was Christian and their mourners are Christian, we’ll help you choose the perfect condolence gift below.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Inexpensive or DIY Christian Sympathy Gift Ideas
- Christian Sympathy Gifts You Can Ship or Deliver
- Christian Sympathy Gift Basket Ideas
- Catholic Sympathy Gift Ideas
We’ll give you ideas for quick, inexpensive crafts you can complete yourself and gifts you can order for delivery. We’ll also provide you with a list of items to put in a sympathy gift basket for a Christian and gifts that would appeal specifically to Catholics.
Finally, while everyone loves receiving gifts, you should never overlook the power of your presence.
Inexpensive or DIY Christian Sympathy Gift Ideas
Sympathy gifts don’t have to be expensive. A small token can tell someone that you care for them and that you’re thinking of them through this difficult time.
If none of these ideas appeals to you, consider sending a sympathy card instead. Going through the trouble of mailing a card to someone who recently lost a loved one is a considerate act. You can also purchase a box of sympathy cards, so you have some on hand when needed.
Here are some other ideas for inexpensive sympathy gifts.
1. Obituary bookmark
Cut out the obituary from the newspaper and adhere it to a piece of cardstock. Then, take it to an office supply store or shipping store that offers laminating services. Punch a hole in the laminated cardstock and tie a piece of ribbon or yarn at the top.
To make the gift even more unique, you can write one of the Bible verses used at the funeral on the back of the bookmark.
2. Christmas tree ornament
If you’re a crafter, you’ve probably made Christmas tree ornaments in the past. Look for ideas for personalized memorial ornaments to make or buy.
Christian memorial ornaments might be in the shape of a cross, angel, heart, or wings. They can also include a comforting Bible verse about the afterlife.
3. Grief devotional
Even if your friend is sure that their loved one is in Heaven, they’ll still feel pangs of grief after the death.
There are many Christian-based grief devotionals on the market. A devotional is a small book that provides daily readings about a specific topic. Often, devotionals refer to specific passages from the Bible.
This gift may help your friend understand what to expect from the grieving process. A devotional may also provide your friend with a daily dose of hope and comfort that they might crave after a difficult loss.
When you purchase a devotional, you might want to see if it speaks from the perspective of a particular Christian denomination. Specific beliefs about the afterlife might vary depending on the type of church your friend attends.
Willow Tree and Precious Moments are two companies that make small figurines for many different occasions. Many of their products are Christian-oriented, and they come in a wide variety of styles.
Both companies make figurines that could make perfect sympathy gifts for those mourning the death of a human or animal loved one.
5. Framed verse
One easy DIY sympathy gift idea is a framed Bible verse. Choose a favorite that has comforted you during times of sorrow, such as Psalm 9:9 or John 14:1-4.
If you’re a gifted calligrapher, artist, or graphic designer, you can complete this project yourself. Otherwise, browse through your local Christian bookstore for an inexpensive print or greeting card.
6. Plant stakes
Look for Christian plant stakes online. You can add these decorative items to your houseplant gift or use one as a standalone gift. The plant stake could feature a Bible verse, cardinal, or another symbol of comfort for Christians.
7. Photo frame
Your friend has probably looked through many photos of their loved one while planning the services. They might have uncovered a picture that they’re eager to display. Consider buying a Christian-themed photo frame for them to help them display the photo.
8. Cut flowers
Do you have a yard full of beautiful blooms? You can share a simple bouquet with your friend who is going through a difficult time.
Christian Sympathy Gifts You Can Ship or Deliver
Do you need to send Christian condolences from afar? Here are some gift ideas that you can purchase online and ship to your brother or sister in Christ.
Windchimes are great gifts for both Christians and non-Christians. They offer a melodic reminder of a deceased loved one.
Since memorial windchimes can be personalized, consider buying one that includes an engraved Bible verse on the clapper. You can also choose a windchime that features Christian symbols.
10. Engraved candle holder
When you search for Christian sympathy gifts, one of the first hits you’ll see is an engraved glass candle holder. This would make a lovely gift for someone who doesn’t enjoy houseplants and doesn’t have the outdoor space for windchimes.
Many of these candle holders display Bible verses or offer words of comfort, too.
Instead of searching for a typical sympathy gift, you might think about the relationship that your friend recently lost. If your friend recently lost a mother or sister, find a necklace with a mother or sister pendant.
A cross, wings, or angel necklace would also be appropriate. If the person died from cancer, you could buy a necklace pendant in the shape and color of an awareness ribbon.
Cremation jewelry may be another gift option to consider. Some cremation jewelry is designed to hold a tiny amount of cremated ashes, while others are infused with the ashes themselves. Be aware that this gift may not appeal to everyone.
Hire an artist off Etsy who paints portraits from photographs. Your giftee will surely treasure this one-of-a-kind gift.
13. Throw blanket
Specialized sympathy throw blankets are available online. But if you live in an often cold area, any throw blanket would work as a comforting gift.
Christian Sympathy Gift Basket Ideas
If you’re in charge of a group gift, gathering items to create a gift basket might be a good idea. A gift basket would also be the perfect alternative to bringing meals if someone has to travel to a family member’s funeral.
Here are some ideas for small items to put in a gift basket that offers condolences.
14. Gift cards
Purchase gift cards to restaurants to gas stations for the gift basket. These are perfect options for people who need to travel to attend a family member’s funeral. Buy gift cards for places that are available at your friend’s final destination.
15. Snack items
Whether your friend has to travel for the funeral or not, they will undoubtedly enjoy having some snack items available to them during the planning process.
16. Book of poetry or funeral prayers
Purchase a book of Christian-based grief or death poetry for your friend. They might find a verse that would be appropriate to use at their loved one’s services.
17. Stuffed animal
Does the family in mourning have young children? Don’t forget to include something special for them in the gift basket. For example, a stuffed angel or bear with wings would make a lovely addition to the basket.
18. Breakfast items
Create a basket full of muffins, coffee, yogurt, fruit, and granola. Your friend may have been inundated with casseroles and lasagnas, but breakfast items may be helpful to those who have family traveling in for the funeral.
Some grocery stores and businesses like Edible Arrangements create beautiful displays with cut fruit. This would be a good gift for health-conscious individuals. Of course, you could always make your own fruit basket as well with whole fruits such as pineapples, pears, apples, and bananas.
Catholic Sympathy Gift Ideas
Catholic Christians would enjoy any of the previous items, but there are a few gifts that only Catholic believers may appreciate. Here are some of those items.
20. Prayer cards
Prayer cards come in a variety of styles and are designed for specific purposes. Some are personalized, and some feature saints of the Church.
A crucifix pendant to hang on a chain or one that is large enough to hang on a wall might make a good sympathy gift.
22. Rosary case
Choose a special rosary case for your mourning friend.
23. Memorial rosary beads
Some Catholic gift stores sell rosary beads that say “in loving memory.”
24. A book about Heaven or the afterlife
Peruse through your local Catholic book shop for books about Heaven or the afterlife written from the Catholic perspective.
25. Mass card
Purchase a Mass card from your local parish.
Try to Attend the Funeral
While all of these gifts are appropriate and would be nice to give to a friend in mourning, don’t overlook the importance of attending the funeral.
Most people don’t look forward to attending funerals, even uplifting Christian funerals. They remind people of their mortality, and this might be a subject that some people avoid. Regardless, taking time out of your busy day to go to the funeral will probably mean a lot to your friend. It is also a thoughtful way to honor the deceased.