The Easter Vigil—should you rehearse the catechumens?

4 thoughts on “The Easter Vigil—should you rehearse the catechumens?”

  1. I really like this article, but shouldn’t we be calling the Catechuens the “Elect”, not to confuse those who are still Catechumens.

    I think it is important to use the proper title for them. We work hard on preparing the assembly to know that after they celebrate the Rite of Election that they are no longer Catechumens but the Elect.

    Elaine

  2. Good point, Elaine! Of course we are speaking of the elect. The use of the term in this article is intended to help make the distinction between the baptized and unbaptized, a distinction that it still too often missed or ignored in preparing for the rites of initiation. Yes, these folks are now among the elect having been chosen for the Easter Sacraments at the Rite of Election and should be referred to as such.

  3. Great advice… thank you for posting. Too many of our Liturgy coordinators (and even our pastors) get caught up in this “need to rehearse” mentality for all our Sacraments that our elect are missing out on the “experience” of the moment. It is the job of the sponsors, catechists, celebrant and the other ministers on hand assisting with the Vigil to guide these elect through the necessary movements. The Elect should be made fully aware of what will be happening at the Vigil, but they don’t need to walk through it like a stage-blocking exercise for a play. If everyone else knows their job for this great Liturgy, then there are plenty of other people who can guide them as needed.

    I would also suggest these tips: First, It helps if the elect have previously attended an Easter Vigil. All the inquirers, catechumens, and candidates should be encouraged to attend the Vigil. This not only shows support for their brothers and sisters further along in the process, but is also as an invitation to see what they will be going through when their turn comes. Second, don’t underestimate the power of the Ephphetha Rite. Take the time before the Vigil to gather them all together away from the usual pre-liturgy activities. For us RCIA ministers, it’s a chance to make sure everyone gets there on time and gathered in one place in plenty of time before the start of the Vigil. For our Elect, sponsors, family and friends, it helps to calm any anxiety and center their thoughts on what is to come.

  4. Catherine Shadduck

    The elect are still catechumens. There are two overall orders in the Church: the order of catechumens and the order of the faithful (the baptized). The elect are elected catechumens.

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