THE PATH FORWARD
RCIA is a Journey
The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults is a process that proceeds over weeks and months. It has several steps:
This is the earliest phase in the process; it is also known as the Period of Inquiry. Catechumens and Candidates recognize that Christ is calling them into the Church through the movement of the Holy Spirit. This is a time for seeking, discernment and reflection.
Rite of Acceptance
The first Rite in the RCIA process, the Rite of Acceptance, accepts new members into the worshiping community.
The longest part of the process, the Catechumenate is a time of learning and formation in the traditions and doctrine of the Catholic Church. This is a time for sharing stories, reading scripture, and studying the Church customs, traditions and doctrine. Participants also attend liturgy and various Church rites.
Rite of Election
Catechumens and Candidates discerned ready are received by the Bishop and the community and prepare intensely to receive the Sacraments of Initiation at Easter.
Sacraments of Initiation
At the Easter Vigil (Holy Saturday), all newly elected members of the community who have been journeying through the RCIA process are welcomed formally into the community of believers through receiving the Sacraments of Initiation – Baptism, Eucharist and Confirmation.
This is a time of reflection and celebration after the formal reception into the Catholic Church. Mystagogia means “leading into the mystery” and it is a time to explore the deep mystery of our faith and go forth to help build the kingdom of God on Earth as new members of the faithful.