RCIA 475-476: Reception Centers on the Eucharist

img_6803These two sections remind us of the centrality of the Eucharist in this rite. I can’t imagine celebrating a baptized Christian’s full communion with the Catholic Church without it, but apparently, the framers of the rite could:

475. In regard to the manner of celebrating the rite of reception:

1. The rite should appear clearly as a celebration of the Church and have as its high point eucharistic communion. For this reason the rite should normally take place within Mass.

2. Any appearance of triumphalism should be carefully avoided and the manner of celebrating this Mass should be decided beforehand and with a view to the particular circumstances. Both the ecumenical implications and the bond between candidate and the parish community should be considered.

There are a variety of circumstances that contribute to this discussion. One I’ve seen frequently is when a churchgoing spouse decides to become Catholic. Sometimes the person is so involved in the parish, people express surprise the non-Catholic isn’t one of the crew. Here, the bond with the parish is already strong, so the celebration with friends and family makes good sense.

In some cases, not much fuss:

… Often it will be preferable to celebrate the Mass with only a few relatives and friends. If for a serious reason Mass cannot be celebrated, the reception should at least take place within a liturgy of the word, whenever this is possible. The person to be received into full communion should be consulted about the form of reception.

476. If the rite is celebrated outside Mass, the Mass in which the newly received will take part with the Catholic community should be celebrated as soon as possible, in order to make clear the connection between the reception and eucharistic communion.

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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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