RCIA 200-202: Choosing A Baptismal Name


Section 200 gives you the background:

The rite of choosing a baptismal name may be celebrated on Holy Saturday, unless it was included in the rite of acceptance intot he order of catechumens (see RCIA 33.4, 73). The elect may choose a new name, which is either a traditional Christian name or a name of regional usage that is not incompatible with Christian beliefs. Where it seems better suited to the circumstances and the elect are not too numerous, the naming may consist simply in an explanation of the given name of each of the elect.

RCIA 201 gives an option of five readings: Genesis 17:1-7 (Abram renamed by God), Isaiah 62:1-5 (God renames a vindicated Jerusalem), Revelation 3:11-13 (the Philadelphian “victor” is renamed), Matthew 16:13-18 (We’ve already seen in the Creed rite the first five verses of this passage of Cephas being renamed Peter), and John 1:40-42 (the Johannine renaming of Cephas/Peter).

The rubric and ritual of the Naming of the Elect:

202. If as baptismal names the elect have chosen new names, option A is used; if they are to use their given names, option B is used.


The celebrant asks each of the elect to state the new name chosen; then he says the following or similar words:

N, fr0m now on you will [also] be called N.

The elect responds by saying “Amen” or in some other suitable way.


The celebrant applies some Christian interpretation to the given name of each of the elect.

The rite for choosing a baptismal name is probably even more rarely used in North America than the Ephphetha rite. Interesting is the ritual in which the priest or deacon explains a non-Christian name in a Christian way. Any pastors ever have experience with this? How can you tackle Tiffany or Dash or such? Any readers with any experience with this?


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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