Welcome to the completed RCIA page. We’ve finally got the whole of the RCIA organized in a much more accessible format.

Our series had a brief overview:

RCIA Coming Up

Then we looked at the General Introduction to Christian Initiation, GICI. This introduction covers all of the considerations in this book, plus the concerns of infant baptism.

The Dignity of Baptism (GICI 3-6)

Offices and Ministries of Baptism (GICI 7-17)

Requirements for the Celebration of Baptism (GICI 18-29)

Adaptations by the Conferences of Bishops (GICI 30-33)

Adaptations by the Minister of Baptism (GICI 34-35)


Introduction (RCIA 1-35)

This introductory section is to adult initiation (RCIA 36-251) as the GIRM is to the Roman Missal. The Church gives the background in liturgical and sacramental theology that underpins the sacraments of adult initiation:

Structure of the Initation of Adults (RCIA 4-8)

Ministries and Offices (RCIA 9-16)

Time and Place of Initiation (RCIA 17-25)

Outside the Usual Times (RCIA 26-30)

Place of Celebration (RCIA 31)

Adaptations by the Conferences of Bishops in the use of the Roman Ritual (RCIA 32-33)

Adaptations by the Bishop (RCIA 34)

Adaptations by the Minister (RCIA 35)

Part I (RCIA 36-251)

Pre-Catechumenate (RCIA 36-40):

There are no rites as such for this period, just five introductory sections that describe a bit of what could happen as newcomers investigate the Church:

The first step is the Rite of Acceptance (RCIA 41-74)

We have seven introductory sections:

… and the Rite of Acceptance, its rituals, texts, and rubrics:

The rite gives options for inclusion into the Rite of Acceptance:

The Catechumenate Period (RCIA 75-117)

First, there is an introductory section that discusses the primary considerations of the catechumenate period:

Then we have a treatment of the four main liturgies of the catechumenate period: word services, exorcism, blessings, and anointings:

There are options from Lent and Holy Week that can be utilized during the catechumenate period:

Optional Presentations During the Catechumenate (RCIA 104-105)

Now we get into the immediate preparation for Lent, the optional Rite of Sending. There are the instructional sections (RCIA 106-110) and the rite itself (RCIA 111-117)

The Second Step is the Rite of Election (RCIA 118-137)

We have an introductory section:

And the rubrics, texts and rituals:

And now we have the Period of Purification and Enlightenment (RCIA 138-184)

There’s an introductory portion which gives an overview of all the rites:

The First Scrutiny:

The other Lenten liturgies:

RCIA includes preparation rites just before baptism:

RCIA gives an introductory section to cover the theology and pastoral practice of the initiation sacraments:

Easter Vigil! (RCIA 218-243)

Then we have the rubrics and rituals themselves of the initiation rites:

The fourth period of initiation is mystagogy. The book gives very little specific material compared to the other periods and steps, but it’s worth reviewing and knowing:

Part II (RCIA 252-330)

Remember, there is no such thing as RCIC. Part II treats how children of catechetical age are initiated. The process is structured like that of adults, but with key adaptations. The document gives an introductory section to address various issues of ministry and liturgy:

Then the Rite of Acceptance:

An optional Rite of Election:

In the second step (RCIA 291-303), children experience a pre-baptismal penitential season–usually Lent. Four introductory sections are followed by the rituals themselves:

In the third step (RCIA 304-329), children are initiated:

Post-Baptismal ministry, too:

Part III (RCIA 331-399)

Christian Initiation of Adults in Exceptional Circumstances is treated in RCIA 331-369. There is an introductory section (RCIA 331-339) followed by the rite itself (RCIA 340-369).

If an unbaptized person is near death, RCIA 370-399 address the situation. There is a brief introductory section (RCIA 370-374), then the rituals themselves (RCIA 375-399)

Part IV (RCIA 400-472)

This section treats the situation when a baptized non-Catholic wants to join the Roman Catholic Church. First, there is a more general introduction to this section (RCIA 400-410), which gives us the broad view of the issues.

Then we cover the optional preparation rites for receiving a baptized Christian. In every case, there is a brief introduction, followed by the rite itself:

Part V: Receiving the Baptized into Full Communion (RCIA 473-504)

The introduction to this rite is covered in RCIA 473-486:

And the liturgical celebration itself:

Appendix I, Combined Rites for the unbaptized and those already baptized:

Appendix II (RCIA 595-597)

5 Responses to RCIA

  1. Pingback: GDC 88-89: “The baptismal catechumenate: structure and progression” « Catholic Sensibility

  2. Pingback: GDC 91: Five Points of Inspiration « Catholic Sensibility

  3. Liza says:

    Thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you! As one who had rather high expectations on the RCIA process only to be quite disconnected and confused, this has been a Godsend. Bless you~

  4. MARY JACKSON says:

    Thanks, this is great. A question, though … do you recommend any books for RCIA ‘students’? There seem to be a lot of good books books used in RCIA and I’d love to read pros & cons about various ones.

    • Todd says:

      A student? Do you mean already a Catholic and hoping to be in the ministry to people entering the Church? Thom Morris has a good one for that: http://www.paulistpress.com/Products/3758-5/the-rcia-transforming-the-church.aspx

      New to Catholicism? I don’t recommend books for Catholics-to-be. I think the best course is to find a good sponsor to be with you all the way through. Failing that, make two or three close friends–people who you naturally trust and hang out with them as they go about their volunteer work in the parish. For new Christians and even Christians who want to be Catholic, I would opt for learn-by-doing, rather than ready and study. I also suggest visiting monasteries and, in a pinch, different Catholics churches, and praying there.

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