RCIA 490-498: Rite of Reception

img_6803The Rite of Reception (of a Baptized Christian) within Mass is much like the initiation rites we’ve seen elsewhere in RCIA, streamlined for the circumstances. The outline is:

Profession of Faith
Act of Reception
[Confirmation] (if needed, with Laying on of hands and anointing with chrism)
Celebrant’s Sign of Welcome
General  Intercessions
Sign of Peace

And the Liturgy of the Eucharist follows.

The invitation (RCIA 490) and profession of faith (491) are closely linked. The text for the latter is often a memorized response by the candidate, no leeway on wording is given in the rite:

I believe and profess all that the holy Catholic Church believes, teaches, and proclaims to be revealed by God.

In RCIA 493, the text for the Act of Reception follows:

N, the Lord receives you into the Catholic Church.
His loving kindness has led you here,
so that in the unity of the Holy Spirit
you may have full communion with us
in the faith that you have professed in the presence of his family.

The accompanying rubric instructs the celebrant to lay his right hand on the head of the candidate, unless confirmation is to follow, in which case the two-handed gesture will accompany the prayer (RCIA 493) before anointing (494). If the candidate is not confirmed, the formula is the same as for the newly baptized adults (see RCIA 235), children (326) and those in danger of death (391).

Differing from the previous rites is the Sign of Welcome:

495. The celebrant then takes the hands of the newly received person into his own as a sign of friendship and acceptance. With the permission of the Ordinary, another suitable gesture may be substituted, depending on local and other circumstances.

This gesture is very interesting. It would mark a distinctive gesture not practiced for the freshly baptized. It is not included in the combined initiation rite of elect and baptized candidates.

The General Intercessions (496) are notable for the inclusion of prayers for separated “Communities” and even the “Church” of the newly received. Observe:

For all who believe in Christ and for the Communities to which they belong, that they may come to perfect unity …

For the Church [Communion] in which N was baptized and received his/her formation as a Christian, that it may always grow in knowledge of Christ and proclaim him more effectively …

For all in whom the spark of desire for God already burns …

For those who do not yet believe in Christ …

The sign of peace may be moved to the slot after the intercessions and before the Liturgy of the Eucharist (498). It is not repeated before the Lamb of God, if this is done.Communion under both forms is “fitting,” according to the rite.

Whew! That’s a mouthful. Any comments, questions, or observations?

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in post-conciliar liturgy documents, RCIA, Rites. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to RCIA 490-498: Rite of Reception

  1. nancy says:

    this was in the anousement of the priest that pass away. i still do not unter stand.

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  3. kathy wissel says:

    The rite of reception was done for a deceased Catholic Franciscan brother before the Mass of Christian Burial. Is this service available for lay people?

    • Todd says:

      I don’t think it’s quite the same reception. Prior to a funeral, a body is received at a church. Every body is supposed to go through the funeral rites in this way.

  4. katrina says:

    Can the Rite of Reception occur on any Sunday? Does the Priest need to seek permission from the Bishop first?

    • Todd says:

      Receiving a Christian into Full Communion can happen at any Mass. I’ve seen it celebrated on a weekday, but usually on a Sunday. Confirming a non-Catholic Christian is a routine matter in a parish. Confirming a Catholic Christian requires some permission or diocesan policy.

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