RCIA 499-504: Reception Outside Mass


RCIA 499 instructs that a liturgy of the word “is to be celebrated” if the rite of reception takes place outside of Mass. For “exceptional circumstances” when a liturgy of the word is not “possible,” the introductory words include a quote from Scripture, either in praise of God’s mercy or the “eucharistic communion that will follow on the earliest day possible.”

Aside from the reception of a Christian in near danger of death, it is hard to envision the possibility of no Mass, and not even a Word service. But Rome gives the option.

For plan B, reception outside of Mass, the outline is simple. After the celebrant greets those present (RCIA 500), a “suitable song” follows (501), then one of more readings from Scripture. A homily follows.

The rite gives specific readings, six New Testament options, six psalm choices (27, 42, 61, 63, 65, and 121), and six possible Gospel readings (three from Matthew: the Beatitudes, light and salt, and “come to me” and three from John: 3:16ff with Nicodemus, the promise of the Spirit in 14:15ff, and Jesus the vine). Other choices from the ritual Masses “Christian Initiation apart from the Easter Vigil” or “For the Unity of Christians” are also possible.

RCIA 502-503 instruct the ritual to be done as given in RCIA 489-496. After the intercessions, #504 instructs the Lord’s Prayer to be prayed by all, including its doxology “if the person was accustomed” to praying it in his or her community. The liturgy concludes with a “usual” blessing, a possible sign of welcome from the community, then “(a)ll depart in peace.”


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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