Episode 26: Issues with year-round RCIA

RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) image posted by TeamRCIA

As you move from a school-year program to a year-round process, what do you do with inquirers who show up in the summer? And what about baptized, catechized inquirers? Nick and Diana explore these and other issues that arise when you start a year-round process.

Also, discover which rituals are okay for lay people to lead in the RCIA.

Resources discussed in the podcast

Download a free copy of my alternative Rite of Welcome for baptized catechized candidates. Simply type in your email address in the form below. When you click “submit” you’ll be able to download the Word file of this rite for you to adapt and use in your parish.

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RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) image posted by TeamRCIA

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  1. If I understand correctly people (for pastoral reasons) can come into the Church at any time during the year, Then what do I do with unbaptized and uncatechized inquirers who come into the RCIA process late in the season like December? What do I do about the Rite of Acceptance, the Rite of Election and the Scrutinies? Do I not put them through the rites and just instruct them and then receive them when they are ready let’s say fictitiously, in September for example? Or do I bring them into the process and clebrate the rites the following year? My point is an inquirer who starts just before Christmas won’t be ready for the Rite of Election most likely.

  2. Hi Richard. In your example, the inquirer would not be ready in September because he will not have spent a full liturgical year in the catechumenate. All unbaptized catechumens must be in the catechumenate for a full liturgical year, starting with the Rite of Acceptance. If you celebrate the Rite of Acceptance with him in December, he cannot be ready for initiation until at least the following December.

    Readiness is a two way street. The catechumen has to be ready and the parish also has to be ready. You would need to celebrate a Rite of Election, and three scrutines — all spaced at weekly intervals — with the catechumen once he is ready. Most parishes are not ready to do that in December/January. The best pastoral option in most cases would be for the catechumen to wait for the usual lenten process since it is only a couple of months away.

    For baptized candidates, there is no requirement that they be in the catechumenate for a full year and of course they do not celebrate the scrutinies. So if, in your example, the candidate had been previously baptized, you could celebrate the sacraments with him in September.

    Thanks for a great question.


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