Q&A: When should we introduce RCIA seekers to the Sign of the Cross?

5 thoughts on “Q&A: When should we introduce RCIA seekers to the Sign of the Cross?”

  1. In our RCIA class, we introduce the sign of the cross pretty early, because it is a sign of our faith, and because it is seen so commonly at Mass (and other times), But we also introduced it early this year because members of this year’s class were asking about it almost from the git-go. (We have an exceptionally enthusiastic group of participants this year, who already, even with Zoom, seem to have bonded together – earlier than we usually see. It’s almost as if they have known each other for years).

    Our only regret is that we have to meet by Zoom rather than by face-to-face (but that has it’s benefits as well – members who for various reasons can’t make it to class for a week can request the recording of it that Zoom creates for us).

    1. John Michael Reyes

      That’s great! I was going to ask if folks ask about it on their own. Definitely in our time of video conference, it is hard to fully share in the embodied prayer of our faith, but it is giving us more of a sense of reverence for the things that we “just do” and that are signs of our faith.

  2. Carmel Ann Sperti

    We introduce the Sign of the Cross as the first Christian prayer that the new Catechumens learn. Once they have accepted the cross and its responsibility and been signed in the Rite of Acceptance, they “belong” to it. In becoming Catechumens, they have made the first step toward living in the power and shadow of the Cross. We discourage the use of anything that Inquirers and Catechumens don’t yet understand, including Easter Vigil candles and holy water before Initiation.

    1. John Michael Reyes

      Thanks for sharing. Our sacramentals are powerful items in our “toolbox” in which our faith/imagination is sparked. I hope that we can provide catechesis and experiences (safely of course at this time) to show that catechumens (and candidates) are part of the household of God, e.g. that they are able to celebrate and receive blessings (RCIA 95).

  3. Alexandra Shattuck

    As most people are aware of the Sign of the Cross, we introduce it right away. Each week we spend a few minutes talking about one of the many meanings it has before we enter into prayer. Then we invite them “if you feel comfortable, please join us as we begin our prayer”. That way no one feels pressured.
    Gradually, they adopt it when they are ready – usually all have adopted it within the first month or two. After that, each time we begin prayer we introduce the Sign of the Cross with one of its meanings i.e. “Let us sign ourselves with the sign of our salvation” so that we reinforce those meanings throughout the sessions. We have found it very helpful to take the time to explain the various meanings and it is a good introduction to how Catholics view the use of our bodies in prayer.

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