Last minute RCIA questions

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6 thoughts on “Last minute RCIA questions”

  1. Juliann Stephen

    We have an RCIC program at our parish. You stated that the Church does not have an RCIC. I’m confused. Is this specific by diocese? I am part of the RCIA team and I can’t see how children could be integrated into the same group as the adults. We have a separate RCIC program.

    1. Hi Juliann. Thanks for your note. Your parish may have a sacramental preparation process for children that they are calling “RCIC,” but there is, in fact, no rite in the Church, in any diocese, called “Rite of Christian Initiation of Children.” There is only the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults is a rite and not a program. It is similar in that way to the Rite of Confirmation. The Church prepares both children and adults for Confirmation, but there is only one Rite of Confirmation. This article might help explain more: https://teamrcia.com/2008/06/why-we-need-to-stop-rcic/

  2. Hi, Nick, and thank you so much for these questions and answers. VERY helpful. Now I want to know – what about the (optional) Rite of Welcoming the Candidates (RCIA 416-424)? We have been using this, including signing them, although we do make clear at the beginning that as candidates they were baptized in another faith tradition that the Church recognizes as valid. Looking forward to your input!

    1. Hi Lawson. I’m not sure exactly what your question is. As you know, the Rite of Welcoming the Candidates is an option rite for previously uncatechized candidates. I have often seen it used with *any* baptized candidate, catechized or not. It is not appropriate to use the rite with anyone other than those who were baptized as infants and who then received no further catechetical formation. Also, I would avoid celebrating this rite as a combined rite with the Rite of Acceptance. And I would only sign the foreheads of the baptized candidates, not all the other senses.

  3. Is the reason you would only sign the forehead because that part of the Rite says”…as a reminder of your baptism…” ? Could you elaborate why you wouldn’t continue signing the other senses even though it is an option? Thanks. I think these insights help make us better catechists, as well as better participants in the Rites.

    1. It’s a preference, and not a hard-and-fast rule I’d go to the mat over. My preference is to do only the one signing with the candidates as a recognition of the dignity of their baptism. They were marked with the cross at baptism and have been bearing the cross all these years. There is no need to elaborate the symbol as there is with the catechumens.

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