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The Rite Of Acceptance And The Catechumenate
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The Rite Of Acceptance And The Catechumenate


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  • 1. Welcome Back!
    Please bring your white binders and Seeker’s Catechism to all sessions from this point on.
    Please find a time for your Interview if you haven’t had one.
    We are talking about and praying for you.
    Rite of Acceptance: November 1, 9:15 a.m. Mass. If you can’t be there or need to talk with us, please do so ASAP.
    Our session on Wednesday, November 11 will be in the Parish Hall. Supper will be provided – bring a dessert!
    Baptismal Certificates are due in to the Parish Office by Wednesday, December 2.
    Pray for our soon-to-be Child Catechumens
  • 2. The Rite of Acceptance / Welcome
  • 3. The purpose of the Rite:
    To gather Inquirers and Catechists before the assembled Church for the first time
    To permit Inquirers to publicly declare their intentions to become members of the Church
    To recognize the role of their Sponsors
    To publicly join Inquirers to the Church
    To distinguish Catechumens (the unbaptized) from the Candidates (baptized Christians of other traditions)
    (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, 41-45)
  • 4. What happens:
    Inquirers who are ready for the Catechumenate will gather at the 9:15 a.m. Mass on November 1, with their sponsors if they are available. Pews will be reserved for them and their families in Church
    Those who took part in this Rite before, or those who do not feel ready at this point in time, are not required to take part, but are warmly invited to attend
    Members of the RCIA Team will be present at this Mass to assist, and to help with the first Breaking Open of the Word (more on that in a moment…)
  • 5. What happens:
    The Rite will take place immediately after the Homily. Fr. Murphy and Deacon Joe will assist.
    Inquirers, Sponsors, and Team members will be called to stand before the Assembly, facing the altar.
    And what happens next? Wait and see.
    After the Rite concludes, the new Catechumens and new Candidates, together with their sponsors and the RCIA team will process out of the Church for the Kelley Room, for the Breaking Open of the Word.
  • 6. Dismissals and
    Breaking Open the Word
  • 7. The purpose of Dismissals:
    Liturgy of the Word = Mass of the Catechumens
    Liturgy of the Eucharist = Mass of the Faithful
    To give Catechumens a place of their own, as they are not yet ready to accept the Creed or partake in the Sacrament of the Eucharist at Holy Communion
    To show the Assembly that a separation, however temporary, still exists between them and those preparing for entry into the Church at a future date
    Some Masses - for special reasons - will not have a Dismissal, but the Celebrant will publicly recognize the coming time when Catechumens will celebrate more fully as fully initiated members of the Church
  • 8. The Dismissals:
    Take place at various Sunday Masses, rotating through the course of the Catechumenate
    Allows the entire parish community to see the participants and Team, in order to provide prayers and other forms of support, as is their responsibility
    Enables participants to see the various “communities” formed within the Parish at different Mass times
    Helps them to determine which Mass time will be the best “fit,” once they have been initiated
  • 9. The purpose of Breaking Open the Word:
    To give Catechumens a deeper understanding of the role of scripture in the life of the Church
    To invite them to take the Scriptures deeper into their own lives
    To join them in a special way with Catechumens everywhere preparing to join the Church
    To allow them to reflect on their experiences and feelings in a place beyond the Wednesday evening sessions, in their own words
    N.B.: Candidates, as they are already baptized, may remain in Church, though they may not yet partake in the Eucharist.
  • 10. The Period of the Catechumenate
  • 11. What is the Catechumenate?
    The ancient Baptismal Rite, revived after the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) and extended over the course of each participant’s process of “conversion”
    For those preparing for Baptism, it is an extended immersion into the Paschal Mystery, which allows them to thoroughly absorb the conversion experience
    For those already baptized, this permits a reaffirmation of baptismal vows and an extended opportunity for reflection on one’s baptismal call
  • 12. How long does it take??
    The length of the Catechumenate depends upon “the grace of God and on various circumstances, such as…the cooperation of the individuals, and the help of the local community. Nothing, therefore, can be settled (beforehand)” (RCIA, 76).
  • 13. What does it look like?
    Regular, frequent faith-sharing
    Celebrations of the Word, various blessings, and prayers of exorcism (for those not yet baptized)
    Catechesis, flowing from the Sunday assembly
    From the Greek katachein, “to echo back”
    The mysteries of Christ and the stories of the Church are shared with the listener in the hopes that it may be “echoed back” to others.
    The topics of the Wednesday lessons enjoy a special relationship with the readings from the Lectionary, either from the prior or the following Sunday.
  • 14.
  • 15. Expectations during the Catechumenate:
    The Parish Community: Active prayers, support, encouragement during the Dismissals and Rites, and an open invitation to Catechumens/Candidates to begin taking part in the apostolic work and life of the Church (RCIA 75, 4)
    The Clergy: Pastoral formation and guidance, recognition and support; done privately with each participant and publicly in the life of the Church and in liturgies with the Assembly (75, 1)
  • 16. Expectations during the Catechumenate:
    The RCIA Team: Lessons, appropriate materials, listening, and the “tools” for participants to “set out on a spiritual journey…from an old nature to a new one made perfect in Christ” (75, 2)
    The Sponsors: Attendance with their participant at all Wednesday lessons, Sunday Breaking Open the Word sessions, and Rites as scheduled. Sponsors also communicate with the clergy and the RCIA as necessary about any special needs or situationsthat may arise
  • 17. Expectations during the Catechumenate:
    Candidates must provide written record of baptism, or if written record is not available, an Affadavit
    Attend all Wednesday night sessions, and as many Breaking Open the Word sessions as possible
    Participate in all events with their Sponsor
    Interview prior to the Rite of Election on the 1st Sunday of Lent (February 21, 2010)
    Participate in a Retreat Experience prior to the Easter Vigil
  • 18. Questions?
    Then it’s Break Time!