RBC 23-26: Episcopal Adaptations

Subheading V covers “Adaptations by Conferences of Bishops or by Bishops”

23. In addition to the adaptations provided for in the General Introduction (nos. 30-33), the baptismal rite for infants admits other variations, to be determined by the conferences of bishops.

24. As is indicated in the Roman Ritual, the following matters are left to the discretion of the conferences:

  1. As local customs may dictate, the questioning about the name of the child may be arranged in different ways: the name may have been given already or may be given during the rite of baptism.
  2. The anointing with oil of catechumens may be omitted (nos. 50, 87).
  3. The formulary of renunciation may be made more pointed and detailed (nos. 57, 94, 121).
  4. If the number to be baptized is very great, the anointing with chrism may be omitted (no. 125).
  5. The ephphetha rite may be retained (nos. 64, 101).

25. In many countries parents are sometimes not ready for the celebration of baptism or they ask for their children to be baptized even though the latter will not afterward receive a Christian education and will even lose the faith. Since to instruct such parents and to inquire about their faith in the course of the rite itself is not enough, conferences of bishops may issue pastoral directives, for the guidance of parish priests (pastors), to determine a longer interval between birth and baptism.

26. It is for the bishop to decide for his diocese whether catechists may give the homily on their own or only by reading a written text.

As a whole, this section is illustrative of the adaptations many readers have seen from the chock-full rite. The anointing with the oil of catechumens is usually, but not always done. I’ve usually not seen an embellished Q&A about Satan and the Creed, but sometimes priests work from the lengthier Easter Vigil script. I’ve never seen the chrismation omitted, even in very large groups. And I don’t often see the ephphetha performed.

I also confess I’m not aware of a listing of particular US adaptations in print from the USCCB. Perhaps an astute reader knows of them?

#26 I find very interesting, in that the post-Scriptural reflection given by a catechist is called a homily.

Any thoughts?

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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