RCIA 217: First Sharing

img_6803We’ve covered the instructions on baptism and confirmation. The third sacrament awaits:

The Neophytes’ First Sharing in the Celebration of the Eucharist

217. Finally in the celebration of the Eucharist, as they take part for the first time and with full right, the newly baptized reach the culminating point in their Christian initiation. In this eucharist the neophytes, now raised to the ranks of royal priesthood, have an active part both in the general intercessions and, to the extent possible, in bringing the gifts to the altar. With the entire community the share in the offering of the sacrifice and say the Lord’s Prayer, giving expression to the spirit of adoption as God’s children that they have received in baptism. When in communion they receive the body that was given for us and the blood that was shed, the neophytes are strengthened in the gifts they have already received and are given a foretaste of the eternal banquet.

Check our earlier discussion on Confirmation, and note here the emphasis on the neophyte as royal priest.

How would you interpret an “active part” in the intercessions and as bearers of gifts to the altar? In my parishes, often the role of prayer leader is set aside for one of the neophytes. When there are a large number of neophytes initiated, we can often involve most or all of them in a full dressing of the altar: mat, cloths, corporal, candles, as well as the bread and wine.

The Lord’s Prayer as an element of a theology of adoption: nice.

Other comments?


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.

One Response to RCIA 217: First Sharing

  1. Jim McK says:

    “With the entire community the share in the offering of the sacrifice…”

    I think it is important to make this point. participation in the Eucharist is not limited to receiving communion; it includes offering the sacrifice.

    This is why confirmation, as a sign of priesthood, should precede first communion, because communion should be bound up with offering the Eucharist. There is an argument to made that the offering of parents can be shared with children until they can offer it themselves, but it seems weak and after the fact.

    As it is now, priesthood is associated with baptism in water, and mentioned hardly at all in adult initiation. That weakens or eliminates this argument for the sequence baptism-confirmation-eucharist, and leaves us looking for others. ‘Why do you need to be strengthened in order to eat?’ is not at all like ‘Why do you need to be priestly to offer sacrifice?’

    This finally brings me back around to what I was trying to say to Neil many months ago. I hope there is now enough context that it can be understood!

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