RCIA 104-105: Optional Presentations During The Catechumenate

img_6803The initiation rites give the option of presenting the Creed and the Lord’s Prayer to the catechumens during the catechumenate period instead of during the third and fifth weeks of Lent.

104. The presentations normally take place during Lent, the period of purification and enlightenment, after the first and third scrutinies. But for pastoral advantage and because the period of purification and enlightenment is rather short, the presentations may be held during the period of the catechumenate, rather than at the regular times. But the presentations are not to take place until a point during the catechumenate when the catechumens are judged ready for these celebrations.

105. Both the presentation of the Creed and the presentation of the Lord’s Prayer may be anticipated; each may be concluded with the ephphetha rite.* When the presentations are anticipated, care is to be taken to substitute the term “catechumens” for the term “elect” in all formularies.

* But if the rite of recitation of the Creed (RCIA 193-196) is also anticipated as one of the “rites of passage” (see RCIA 33.6), the ephphetha rite is used only to begin this rite of recitation and not with the presentations.

Commentary:

Lent can indeed be a period of initiation clutter, even if candidates are received at times other than the Easter Vigil. This adaptation strikes me as a sound one, if the catechumens are truly ready. The Lord’s Prayer is easy enough to embrace, even for non-Christians. Presenting the Creed presumes a readiness to embrace the elements of Christian belief, even if a few points remain a struggle in some way.

A difficult issue might be if some catechumens are judged ready and others aren’t. I think the Church would tend to frown on multiple celebrations of these rites, which, unlike the last few we examined, do not provide for individual or private celebration. Indeed, a celebration of Mass with the parish community is expected. (RCIA 157)

We’ll get to the particulars of these rites, Presentation of the Creed (RCIA 157-162), Presentation of the Lord’s Prayer (178-183) and Ephphetha (197-199) in good time.

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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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