RCIA 3: Outlining the Rite

img_6803This section gives us the outline of the entire rite.

3. So that the rite of initiation will be more useful for the work of the Church and for individual, parochial, and missionary circumstances, the rite is first presented in Part I of this book in its complete and usual form (nos. 36-251). This is designed for the preparation of a group of candidates, but by simple adaptation pastors can devise a form suited to one person. 

A preview of what is to follow after that:

Nos. 252-330, Christian initiation of children of catechetical age

331-369, Rite for adults in exceptional circumstances

370-399, Short form for those in danger of death

400-410, Guidelines for preparing uncatechized adults for confirmation and Eucharist–these would include both Catholics who have not received First Communion and non-Catholic Christians.

411-472, optional rites for the above group

473-504, rite of receiving baptized Christians

505-594, combined rites for the unbaptized and for baptized Christians

595-597, hymns and songs

An appendix with national statutes. Since I’m from the US, we’ll look at the USCCB legislation on RCIA in my country. Other nations have their own.

RCIA 1 through 251 contains the core of the rite, and the basis not only for catechumenal ministry but also the springboard for all the adaptations that follow in 252-594. Note that many contingencies are provided for, but that the hallmark of the rite is to adapt to the spiritual needs of the newcomers. This is a different approach from the pre-conciliar, which would emphasize the ritual as a static entity to which individuals and groups would adapt.

This would be one of the areas in which we see retrenchment against Vatican II. In other words, the post-conciliar approach would be that of Jesus: the sabbath made for people, rather than the other way around.

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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.
This entry was posted in post-conciliar liturgy documents, RCIA, Rites. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to RCIA 3: Outlining the Rite

  1. Jim McK says:

    “400-410, Guidelines for preparing uncatechized adults for confirmation and Eucharist–these would include both Catholics who have not received First Communion and non-Catholic Christians.”

    Uncatechized is the important term here, so the proper description is baptized Christians, Catholic or non Catholic, who have not been catechized for Confirmation and Eucharist. (just in case anyone is discouraged from being a catechist by the thought of catechizing someone like an ex-Anglican bishop)

    Hopefully everyone knows these descriptions are somewhat fluid — I have known well catechized unbaptized people as well as confirmed and communed uncatechized Catholics and non-Catholics.

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