RCIA 370-371: Christian Initiation of a Person in Danger of Death

img_6803Last year we touched on the baptism of a person in danger of death in our lengthy examination of the Pastoral Care rites. PCS 275-296 has been expanded a bit and updated with RCIA 370-399. Ministers to the dying, especially clergy, should be aware that the full rite including baptism, confirmation, and viaticum (Communion for the dying) is in the RCIA book.

The introductory section for this rite (RCIA 370-374) is mostly the same as the parallel section in the Pastoral Care rites (275-280). I’m not sure a side-by-side comparison is particularly helpful, but there are minor differences in wording and options. For interested clergy, that comparison might be interesting. For our purposes, I’ll confine my comments to the texts of the RCIA document.

RCIA first narrows when this rite may be used:

270. Persons, whether catechumens or not, who are in danger of death but are not at the point of death and so are able to hear and answer the questions involved may be baptized with this short rite.

271. Persons who have already been accepted as catechumens must make a promise that upon recovery they will complete the usual catechesis. Persons who are not catechumens must give serious indication of their conversion to Christ and renunciation of pagan worship and must not be seen to be attached to anything that conflicts with the moral life (for example, “simultaneous polygamy”). They must also promise that upon recovery they will go through the complete program of initiation as it applies to them.

Nothing new here to ask for a promise; it was the same in the PCS rites. Anyone out there with the experience with a person baptized near death who, after recovery, joined a catechumenate for the spiritual and catechetical enrichment?

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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.

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