RCIA 124: Illuminandi

img_6803Some name-calling, but in a nice way:

124. From the day of their election and admission, the catechumens are called “the elect.” They are also described as competentes (co-petitioners”), because they are joined together in asking for and aspiring to receive the three sacraments of Christ and the gift of the Holy Spirit. They are also called illuminandi (“those who will be enlightened”), because baptism itself has been called illuminatio (“enlightenment”) and it fills the newly baptized with the light of faith. In our own times, other names may be applied to the elect that, depending on regions and cultures, are better suited to the people’s understanding and the idiom of the language.

In other words, a Roman pragmatism is at work. Call the newcomers something different from “catechumens,” which no longer applies. Make it something understandable to the people of the faith community and those preparing for baptism. A good principle: adapt to the language, rather than insist that the people adapt to the terminology.


About catholicsensibility

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

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