RCIA 241-243: Liturgy of the Eucharist

img_6803With this post, we wrap up the Easter Vigil. These three sections give rubrics, but no ritual texts. Let read them in their entirety, then I’ll comment on a few things, then open it up to the readers.

241. Since the profession of faith is not said, the general intercessions begin immediately and for the first time the neophytes take part in them. Some of the neophytes also take part in the procession to the altar with the gifts.

242. With Eucharistic Prayers I, II, or III the special interpolations given in the Roman Missal, the ritual Masses, “Christian Initiation: Baptism” are used.

[Eucharistic Prayer IV, with its special interpolation indicated in the same ritual Masses, may also be used but outside the Easter Vigil.]

243. It is most desirable that the neophytes, together with their godparents, parents, spouses, and catechists, receive communion under both kinds.

Before saying “This is  the Lamb of God,” the celebrant may briefly remind the neophytes of the preeminence of the eucharist, which is the climax of their initiation and the center of the whole Christian life.


Most RCIA directors I’ve worked with take #241 literally and have one or two neophytes who are good readers render the prayers of the faithful. In actuality, the rite refers to the presence of the newly baptized for these prayers and for the Liturgy of the Eucharist. The procession to the altar with gifts, however, would seem to be a no-brainer.

No Eucharistic Prayer IV at the Easter Vigil. You armchair liturgists know why, don’t you?

Communion under both forms: when might this not happen? I have a hard time foreseeing it, except for a medical condition or perhaps a strong personal preference.

Note the final in-liturgy catechetical/explanation opportunity. My sense is that such remarks should be very brief and carefully composed. Off-the-cuff thoughts would probably ramble a bit too much. My sense is that with the demands of preparation for the Easter Vigil, this is probably the last place for which a priest will devote advance preparation. If a priest-celebrant did feel inclined to say something, I’d advise him to look through the teachings and sayings of the saints.

Any suggestions or thoughts of yours?

Next up: Mystagogy.


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 241-243: Liturgy of the Eucharist

  1. Pingback: RCIA 362-369: Exceptional Circumstances: Confirmation and Eucharist « Catholic Sensibility

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