Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA)
Deacon John Rose
Mission: RCIA is a process of initiation in the sacramental life of the Catholic Church. Our primary concern is with living the fundamental values of the Christian way of life. The process is focused on conversion, both for those entering the Catholic Church, and for those who try to live the values of Christ each day. Our goal is for an experience of growth in faith for those who wish to enter the Catholic Church, as well as all who join us.
RCIA is designed for adults who, after hearing the mystery of Christ proclaimed, consciously and freely seek the living God and enter the way of faith and conversion as the Holy Spirit opens their hearts. The rite includes not simply the celebration of the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist but also all the rites belonging to the catechumenate (e.g. rite of Election, the Scrutinies, etc.) The rite is designed for the preparation of a group of candidates, but may be adapted by pastors to be suitable for one person. The rites also include guidelines for preparing uncatechized adults for Confirmation and Eucharist and the rite of reception of baptized Christians into the full communion of the Catholic Church.
There are 4 periods:
- Precatechumenate – hearing the first preaching of the Gospel;
- Catechumenate – for catechesis and for the rites in this period;
- Purification/Enlightenment (Lent) – for intense Spiritual preparation, assisted by the Scrutinies and Presentations;
- Mystagogy or Postbaptismal catechesis – marked by the new experience of Sacraments and community.