The ancient rite of the Catechumenate for Adults, comprising several distinct steps leading towards a person’s new life of grace by Baptism, was restored by Pope Paul VI. The period of the catechumenate, which is intended as a time of suitable instruction in the faith and the living out of the Christian life, is thus sanctified by sacred rites to be celebrated at successive intervals.
It is important that these rites be celebrated amidst the entire parish community as we come
together to accept and encourage our new brothers and sisters into our ecclesial family.
The first rite administered is
The Rite of Acceptance and Welcoming
which will take place
on Sunday, November 27, 2022
at the 11:00am Mass
After having expressed interest in either being Baptized into the Catholic faith or being received fully into the union of the Catholic Church, Inquirers and Candidates gather at the threshold of the Church where they publicly declare their desire to enter into the fullness of the Christian life. All of the faithful also declare their assent to support, guide, and pray for the Inquirers and Candidates on their pilgrimage in this new way of life.
Having declared their intent to continue in the Catechumenate, the now Catechumens (those to be baptized) and the Candidates (those already baptized) are welcomed into the church and, for the
first time, are formally invited to hear the Word of God proclaimed as well as to participate together
with the parish community in the first part of Holy Mass, the Mass of the Catechumens.
After the Liturgy of the Word and the homily all of the faithful, by right of their Baptism and
communion with the Church of Rome, then pray for the Catechumens and Candidates before they are dismissed from the assembly to receive further instruction on the scriptures they have just heard.
The ritual of dismissal of the Catechumens and Candidates after the Liturgy of the Word serves as a
reminder to all of the assembly who are Baptized and in full communion with the Church that they are privileged to remain for the remainder of the Holy Mass since they are incorporated fully into the
mystery of Christ’s passion, death, and resurrection. As a result of this, there are certain rights and
obligations that are theirs to follow.
Our initiation into the life of Christ, through reception of Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Communion, reaches its summit in the Sunday liturgy, when we gather at the Lord’s Altar to join our daily offerings/sacrifices to the sacrifice of the Cross, renewed on that altar. Through Baptism, we have been
incorporated into the priestly mission of Christ, to pray and to offer sacrifice. Catechumens are dismissed
from our midst after the homily because they have not yet been brought into this priestly mission.
Therefore, as our Catechumens and Candidates enter the longest period of RCIA, their efforts
at study and renewal should inspire us all to take our baptismal identity more seriously. The
right we have received to intercede and to offer sacrifice in union with the priesthood of Jesus
Christ implies a corresponding duty to exercise these rights with zeal and dedication.
Please keep our new Catechumens, Candidates, and other RCIA students in your daily prayers as they continue on their journey towards reception of the sacraments and communion with the Church at the Easter vigil.