RCIA 301-303: Anointing, Hands, Dismissal, and Possible Penance Liturgy


After the exorcism prayer, RCIA 301 directs that the children be anointed with the oil of catechumens. If they have already been anointed, then a brief ritual laying on of hands may be used.

The rite gives a blessing of oil for the priest to use if needed.

The rubric instructs the anointing to take place on the breast, or on both hands, or “if this seems desirable,” on other parts of the body.

My comment: probably not the crown of the head or forehead, as these are usually reserved for anointing with chrism.

In RCIA 302, the children may be dismissed from church, or they may instructed “to continue with us in prayer” and return to their seats.

RCIA 303, titled “Liturgy of Penance,” gives an instance in which the unbaptized children may remain to pray for their baptized companions:

303. Next, the liturgy of the sacrament of penance begins for baptized children who will celebrate this sacrament for the first time. After the celebrant gives a brief instruction, individual confession, first of the children, then of the others in the assembly follows.

A suitable song or a prayer of thanksgiving follows the celebration of the sacrament; all then leave.

Note the preference for a “closing” song. I would think the more common practice would be to do both.

This concludes the only ritual given in the section (RCIA 252-330) for children of catechetical age during the season of Lent.

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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