These next five sections are very similar to RCIA 60-64, describing an “Invitation to the Celebration of the Word of God” (269) followed by a “brief” instruction (270), then the same readings (271) suggested for the adult rite, homily (272) then an optional “Presentation of a Bible.” (273)
Rather than repeat all the texts, let me highlight the differences.
RCIA 269: The entrance into the church recommends alternate “songs” from the Psalm 34 (with verses 2, 3, 6, 9, 10, 11, 16) of the adult rite: Psalm 95 or 122 or “another suitable song.” The refrain “Come, my children,” curiously enough, is not offered as the first option for the kids. Why? I have no idea, unless the theme of gathering for Temple worship is somehow more apt for kids than Psalm 34’s wisdom narrative. These psalms all appear frequently in the Lectionary for Mass, and they are three of the nine ordinary time common psalms.
RCIA 270 designates the Lectionary or the Bible to be carried in procession before the readings. I think this gesture is important for the children to see, and it should be done well and with dignity.
RCIA 272 prescribes a brief homily. Then silence. It is “recommended that after the homily (the preacher) invite the children to spend a period in silent prayer.” A “suitable song” is to follow–no option otherwise is given in the rite. That is an interesting prescription, one might say a Protestant one, following the preaching with music.
RCIA 273 suggests that if the children are presented with a Bible, that the homily or “a few words of explanation” should prepare them for this moment.
Pretty much the same look as the adult catechumens would get in their rite. I’ve seen the Rite of Acceptance combined for children and adults. That can work, with attention to details. My sense is that without being dogmatic about it, a separate rite for younger children is probably the better choice most of the time. We’ll wrap up the Rite of Acceptance of child catechumens in the next post. Second-last chance for comments: have you any?