RCIA: The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults
Jordan Hall Theology
A program of the Catholic Church, is oriented towards those who are searching and inquiring about the Catholic way of life. While this program is oriented for adults,it accepts teenagers who are mature enough to participate in the RCIA.
What is it?
Christian initiation is accomplished by three Sacraments together: Baptism which is the beginning of new life; Confirmation which is its strengthening; and the Eucharist which nourishes the disciple with Christ's Body and Blood for his transformation in Christ. (Catechism of the Catholic Church # 1275)
A little history....
The purpose of RCIA
1. Help those who are not associated with a community of faith and who wish to become Catholics; 2. Help those who want to convert to Catholicism from another faith. 3. Those who want to learn about the Catholic faith.
The four steps of the RCIA are: Pre-catechumenate Catechumenate Lenten purification and Mystagogia.
It's also known as the inquiry period. This first ritual is the Rite of Acceptance into the Order of Catechumens. During this rite of acceptance, which is usually celebrated during Sunday Mass, the candidates for initiation are publicly welcomed for the first time.
This 2nd stage of the initiation process of time when those to beinitiated receive their more formal training in the Christian way of life. They meet weekly and study scripture, usually after attending mass on Sundays. Call each by name to sign the Book of the Elect. - - The Rite of Election
Period of purification
It is a period of purification and enlightenment. The Presentation of the Creed and the Lords Prayer enlighten the minds of the elect in the final weeks of their preparation for the sacraments. Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday
Sacraments of Initiation: At the Easter Vigil after sunset on Holy Saturday, the elect and possibly some previously baptized candidates celebrate the Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist.
Period of Mystagogy
These new Christians have received the Body of Christ and have indeed become part of the Body of Christ through their Baptism. The Church uses the period of mystagogy to help the neophytes understand and live out their new lives as part of the Body of Christ.