Recommendations for the Newly Ordained
These are my specific recommendations for those who are newly ordained and trying to purchase the most amount of vestment for their budget.
Because the rubrics specify "light" and "dark" (not specific colors), I recommend
that newly ordained priests purchase a light and a dark set. The light set is usually
gold, gold with white, or gold with red and the dark set is usually deep red or
Deep red and burgundy can be worn in Great Lent and when the rubrics specify dark or the local tradition requires red or purple. The major advantage to this method over purchasing a gold set and a purple set is that the burgundy set will be worn more throughout the year than purple, thereby saving some wear and tear on the gold set.
1. You can purchase two sets of vestments, light and dark, but only one sticharion. If you choose this option with a poly-cotton sticharion, I can pre-wash the fabric so it is machine-washable (since you won't be able to be without it for drycleaning) and use a "neutral" gold galloon that will coordinate with both sets. This basic sticharion also makes a great ordination gift. This will wear out your sticharion faster since it is being used for every service, but you can always add a second sticharion a few years later.
2. You can purchase one standard brocade set in a deep red or burgundy as your "dark" set and then a lightweight, embroidered set as an every Sunday set. The lightweight set will also function well for travel, baptisms, and weddings and can be one of the multi- colored grapevine or floral type sets that include gold, burgundy, and green OR one of the gold and silver designs. In a few years, you could add additional lightweight or brocade sets depending on which type of vestment you find more comfortable or suitable to your situation and climate.
3. If you have family members wanting to give you a special gift of vestments, they could purchase a real metal set suitable for every Sunday use and then you could purchase a standard brocade dark set in burgundy or deep red.
Here are a few other ideas:
1. Forego purchasing the epigonation. I can cut the epigonation and hold it for you until a later date (this assures that the epigonation will be made of the same dye lot as the vestments). You could also purchase just one "all-purpose" epigonation in gold or burgundy velvet that would coordinate with all of your vestment sets.
2. Follow the Russian tradition of purchasing one white sticharion (finished with white galloon) which is worn with all vestments, regardless of the color of the vestments.
3. The woven vestments are an excellent, low-cost option.
4. I occasionally have vestments that are either discontinued designs or dye lots OR are new designs for which I need photos and for these situations I offer discounts. Please contact me if you are interested in a discount vestment offer.
For deacons, I recommend following the light and dark rubrics as well.
Specific recommendations for deacon's vestments:
1. Purchase a gold set for your first set (this can be either white with gold, gold with red, or white with gold and red). These will be your light vestments and can be worn every Sunday until you are ready to add to your collection.
2. Purchase burgundy velvet orarion for use with your gold sticharion when the rubrics specify dark. This can also be done with other liturgicl colors such as red, blue, green, or white
3. If you've followed #1 and #2, then you can purchase a burgundy brocade sticharion which will coordinate with the burgundy velvet orarion. For optimum longevity of your vestments, I recommend purchasing a second set of vestments within two years of your ordination.
4. In lieu of options #1 through #3, you could purchase a solid white sticharion and then add orarion and cuff sets in the various liturgical colors as your budget allows. I would suggest that the sticharion be finished with gold galloon and crosses.