What is it? What does it stand for?
RCIA is a program for adult catechesis to both instruct and form people in the Catholic faith who are coming from either an unbaptized life or from another faith tradition. The initials RCIA stand for the RITE of CHRISTIAN INITIATION of ADULTS.
As the name indicates, this is a program for adults 18 years and older to bring them into the life of the church. It is a year long process that begins in the fall and continues through the spring culminating with the celebration of the sacraments of initiation, baptism, Eucharist, confirmation at the Easter Vigil Mass.
So you may ask who qualifies for participation in this program?
RCIA is open to adults that want to learn more about becoming Catholic. That would include any adult that has never been Baptized, any adult Baptized in another Christian Denomination (and is interested in the Catholic Church), or a Baptized Catholic that never received Eucharist and Confirmation.
RCIA is designed to assist those interested in Catholicism, to learn about our faith, our traditions, and our celebrations. Each person is invited to reflect on his/her relationship with God and the faith community.
This year long process consists of various steps :
Step 1 – Inquiry – where people gather to ask questions and determine their readiness to proceed with the entire process.
Step 2 – Catechesis, information and formation of the individual according to the doctrine of the Catholic Church, including culture, custom and tradition.
Step 3 – Intense catechesis and Scrutinies – This happens during the Lenten season where participants gather at Mass to hear the Word of God and then are dismissed to continue further discussion and formation. The Scrutinies are rites within the Mass that purge candidates and open the way for them to receive the sacraments.
Step 4 – Celebrating the Sacraments of Initiation at the Easter Vigil.
Step 5 – Mystagogia – A formation period of deepening the sacramental life of the “neophytes” or newly received.
At St. Elizabeth of the Trinity, we explore what it means to believe, pray and live as a Catholic. We can set up a time to talk about the way the process unfolds and how you can take part.
OR if you know someone who may be interested, you might be the way that they get introduced to the church. Don’t be afraid to tell them that this process is available!
We’re looking forward to meeting you!
Distinction of terms for participants
Catechumen – Unbaptized person seeking entrance into the Catholic faith.
Candidate – Baptized person in another faith tradition seeking full communion with the Catholic faith.