RCIA 214: Explanatory Rites

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214. The baptismal washing is followed by rites that give expression to the effects of the sacrament just received. The anointing with chrism is a sign of the royal priesthood of the baptized and that they are now numbered in the company of the people of God. The clothing with the baptismal garment signifies the new dignity they have received. The presentation of a lighted candle shows that they are called to walk as befits the children of the light.

Three rites, and notice no chrismation–not until confirmation, anyway.

“Explanatory” describes the rites well enough, but the term leaves us way short of what is trying to be communicated and celebrated here.

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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.

3 Responses to RCIA 214: Explanatory Rites

  1. Jim McK says:

    Why is the anointing with chrism even mentioned here?
    Is it used outside of the baptism of infants, which are covered in the rite of baptism for children?
    My preference would be that Confirmation be understood as “a sign of the royal priesthood of the baptized and that they are now numbered in the company of the people of God” except in the case of those baptized as infants — that seems to be the origin of the rite.
    Is having this explanatory rite the norm for baptism, even though it should never be done for an adult?

  2. Liam says:

    The anointing here is omitted if confirmation is following immediately but administered if confirmation is not following immediately.

    • Jim McK says:

      When does this ever happen, other than the baptism of an infant?
      There are a few suggestions earlier in the rite, ie “when there is a serious reason” in n24, or “near Pentecost” n249. I suppose when a deacon baptizes?
      In any event, these all sound like extraordinary circumstances; the normal circumstance is baptism and confirmation, followed by Eucharist, for anyone of catechetical age or above. The use of this explanatory rite in adult initiation seems vestigial.

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