The six deadly sins committed during the Rite of Acceptance

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11 thoughts on “The six deadly sins committed during the Rite of Acceptance”

  1. Nick,

    Do you have some suggestions on how to have the parishioners go out to welcome the unbaptized candidates when you have a very large parish, limited space outside and no sound system outside so everyone can hear. We have 700-800 people in church.

    I struggle with this for these reasons. I certainly agree that it is the proper way to greet these inquirers and welcome them into the church, but our space is so limited.

  2. Hi Elaine. Space constraints are the most difficult obstacle to overcome. Most of our churches simply weren’t built with initiation rites in mind.

    In the past, I’ve rented a portable sound system for use outside. It’s not that expensive, but it’s not free either. It needs to be built into the budget. If I were in a place that had limited space outside, I’d also build in funds for a portable video system so the rite could be viewed on big screens inside the church. That’s more complicated and expensive, but cheaper than renovation. And our Protestant brothers and sisters do it every Sunday in some places.

    Here’s another idea. On the Sunday on which the Rite of Acceptance is celebrated, begin the liturgy in the parish hall. The assembly gathers there instead of in the church. Then, after the signings, the entire assembly processes into the church, taking the catechumens over the threshold.

    Thanks for your commitment and dedication to this important ministry. I know you are doing great work.

  3. This is something we are going to try this September. We will have a few members of
    our choir go out singing a song of welcome to
    meet and process the unbaptized into the church.
    At the same time the remaining choir members
    will be leading the assembly singing the same song.
    Finally everyone will sing the last verse together. First time to try this, can’t say for
    sure how it will work. However, if there is a flow it should work well for all sizes of parishes.

  4. Nick, thanks for this very simple, yet right on target article. I think the next popular date chosen is Christ the King Sunday, unless of course it happens to fall on the Sunday after Thanksgiving.

    I like Alexis’ idea of having members of the choir go out. I sure hope you let us know how it worked.

  5. Knocking on the door – whenever you visit someone, family, neighbor or friend – you knock on the door. Why wouldn’t it be okay to knock on the door of the church? It has meant a lot to previous catechumens -to knock on the door.
    Before Mass, I invite parishioners who I know and who have experienced the rite, to assist with the signing of the senses..this also has a profound meaning to the catechuments not to mention parishioners.

  6. Hi Rosie. I don’t want to discount the profound meaning this has for your catechumens and parishioners, but I do wonder exactly what that meaning is. We knock on doors when they are locked and we cannot get in. Or we knock when we show up unexpectedly, and we want to let the occupants of the house know we’re there. Or we knock when we arrive someplace where we are visitors to a place that is not “home.” None of these meanings apply to the catechumens. Also, the knocking implies the catechumens are taking the initiative for their own entrance into the church. In fact, it is Jesus, acting through the church, that goes out to get the catechumens and bring them in. I think the meaning of the rite is much clearer if we celebrate it as given in the RCIA itself. That’s why I’m not a big fan of the knocking!

  7. Hi Nick,
    We will be celebrating a Rite of Acceptance this Sunday. We always begin with them waiting outside while the procession begins. Father always explains briefly to the assembly what is happening and invites the parishioners to join him outside. He then walks back down the aise,welcomes and leads them along with their godparents into the church. They come down the aisle to the choir sing halle halle. The Rite then proceeds as usual. It seems to work well and get the assembly activly involved. We are a very large parish with an average Mass having 900-1000 folks in attendance.

  8. Some of my Catechumens come back as Sponsors in their “neophyte year”, some become extra ordindary ministers, some men join the Knights of Columbus, work with Saint Vincent De Paul, others help with R.C.I. A.
    The children become altar servers.

  9. Our parish just recently received a new Pastor. This pastor comes with many new ideas for the RCIA. He has changed the process from a 9 month process to up to a 2 year process. I personally am having difficulty making this transition. How does a 2 year process work or function? HELP!

  10. Speaking as one of those people who had to knock at the Rite of Acceptance, I can say I clearly remember feeling as if I was an outsider coming in. Buuuuut, to be honest, that’s because that is literally what was going on… I was an outsider. I was not Catholic, I was not a part of the Church. But “outsider” is a bit of a harsh word — but I was clearly a GUEST, not a full member. So, the knock, for me, made me feel like a guest, but I felt very welcomed by the community through their applause, the whole RCIA program, and the ritual itself. In some ways, I think, the Rite of Acceptance is not just the Church accepting the catechumens, but the catechumens accepting Jesus’ invitation to come in. The knock symbolizes the catechumen’s acceptance of the invitation. I think it’s too early and too ideal to treat catechumens as if they are FULL members, like they’ve been here all along. They ARE guests that are MOST WELCOME and hopefully soon, will be full members. My two cents…I do agree now that it’s not an official part of the rite and so for that reason a good argument can be made to knock-out the knock.

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