RCIA 51-52: Exorcism or First Acceptance of the Gospel


At this juncture of the rite, there are two options. RCIA 51 offers the option, where the diocesan bishop has permitted it, of a rite of exorcism and renunciation of false worship. The main option is in RCIA 52, the “Candidates’ First Acceptance of the Gospel.” The rubric reads:

52. The celebrant addresses the candidates, adapting one of the following formularies or similar words to the answers received in the opening dialogue.

The formulary is structured as follows: three to five lines of what is essentially a mini-instruction on the agency of God in human life. A few lines follow that describe the grace that has taken place in the candidates’ lives, addressing them directly. Then the candidates are asked a question. Here’s option A:

God gives light to everyone who comes into this world; though unseen, he reveals himself through the works of his hand, so that all people may learn to give thanks to their Creator.

You have followed God’s light and the way of the Gospel now lies open before you. Set your feet firmly on that path and acknowledge the living God, who truly speaks to everyone. Walk in the light of Christ and learn to trust in his wisdom. Commit your lvies daily to his care, so that you may come to believe in him with all your heart.

This is the way of faith along which Christ will lead you in love toward eternal life. Are you prepared to begin this journey today under the guidance of Christ?

And the candidates presumably respond, “I am.”

Most priests I’ve worked with improvise on this example, or on choice B or C and make up something on their own. If a priest is good with improvisation, this can work well. More likely, the priest could be aware of the spiritual issues faced by the inquirers and come to the rite prepared to reference something of these. Whatever is said or chosen, this comes immediately on the heels of that first question, “What do you ask of God’s Church?” The emphasis on all of this remains with the grace and initiative of God in human lives.

More thoughts?

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in post-conciliar liturgy documents, RCIA, Rites. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to RCIA 51-52: Exorcism or First Acceptance of the Gospel

  1. Pingback: RCIA 340-345: Exceptional Circumstances: Receiving the Candidate « Catholic Sensibility

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