Sections 17 through 31 detail the times when initiation is to take place. First, the primary link between the liturgical year and the initiation process is described:
17. As a general rule, parish priests (pastors) should make use of the rite if initiation in such a way that the sacraments themselves are celebrated at the Easter Vigil and the rite of election takes place on the First Sunday of Lent. The rest of the rites are spaced on the basis of the structure and arrangement of the catechumenate as descibed previously (RCIA nos. 6-8). For pastoral needs of a more serious nature, however, it is lawful to arrange the schedule for the entire rite of initiation differently, as will be detailed later (RCIA nos. 26-30)
The rite does provide for flexibility when a “serious” situation arises.