RCIA — Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults
What is the RCIA?
The RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults), also called the Catechumenate, is a process of initiation into the Catholic Community of Faith for persons who are experiencing a conversion in their lives and seeking either Christian baptism in the Catholic Church or full Communion with the Catholic tradition of Eucharist and Confirmation.
The RCIA is more than a course of instruction; it is a process of ongoing conversion. Participants will be guided on a spiritual journey. We will explore, through the lens of the Catholic-Christian tradition, how to integrate prayer, the teachings of the Gospels, Catholic-Christian moral theology, as well as the doctrines and catechism of the Catholic Church.
Who is RCIA for?
- Non-Catholics who want to find out more about the Catholic Faith
- Those who want to join the Catholic Church through Baptism, or Profession of Faith
- Those who were baptized Catholic as infants but never received religious education, Confirmation, or First Eucharist.
Five stages of the RCIA Process:
- Inquiry or Pre-Catechumenate (September-October)
At this time participants are encouraged to ask questions and explore the basic tenets of the Catholic faith and to reflect upon these in light of their own life experiences.
- The Catechumenate (November-January)
It is during this time that most of study of Scripture, doctrine, traditions and meeting with the community takes place.
- Purification & Enlightenment (February-March)
This stage takes place during the Lenten season where Catechumens and Candidates reflect upon their own faith experiences in a more intense, prayerful way. Other times during the year, baptized Candidates reflect more deeply upon the meaning of their baptism and celebrate the Sacrament of Penance.
- Sacraments of Initiation (Easter Vigil)
Catechumens preparing for baptism celebrate their initiation into the Church on the holiest of nights-the Easter Vigil (Easter Saturday) - where they are baptized, confirmed and receive Eucharist. Candidates for full communion celebrate their Rite of Reception on Easter Sunday.
- Mystagogia (April-May) This period of time follows initiation and centers on catechesis in the meaning and experience of the mysteries of baptismal faith.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Must I make a commitment to Catholicism to participate in this program?
Eventually, maybe. We realize that many people are searching and need to know more about the Church before they make such a commitment. We also realize that Catholicism is not for everyone. We ask no firm commitment until the beginning of Lent.
- What kind of commitment am I making?
By joining the RCIA process, we ask that you would make a two-fold commitment -- to the process itself and to having an open heart and mind. Throughout the process, there are weekly classes, various rites (Church services/celebrations), and Mass attendance. As such, we are asking you to commit to these regular meetings, which may mean giving up something for a time that may be in conflict with our meetings. Know that the sacrifice would be for a limited time and that it will be worth the effort.
- What personal information must I provide to the RCIA Team and to the Church of the Resurrection?
We will need your religious background information and a copy of your baptismal record or certificate, if it exists. Finally, we will ask you questions about you -- who you are, where you are from, your interests, what brought you here. These help us get to know you so we can truly help you through this process. In addition, we will need to completely understand your marital history so we can determine if there is a need for an annulment or convalidation.
- I was baptized a Methodist, Baptist, etc. Must I be re-baptized in order to join the Catholic Church?
No! There is only one Baptism. Candidates seeking full Communion within the Catholic Church will not be baptized again. They will simply make a Profession of Faith and receive the Sacraments of Eucharist and Confirmation.
- Where can I obtain my baptismal record or certificate?
Please call the church where you were baptized, as nearly all churches archive their baptismal records. If the church does not exist anymore, or the record/certificate is irretrievable, then a copy of some kind of documentation of your baptism (i.e., a program from the baptism, pictures, a page from a family bible that shows the date and church of the baptism) will suffice. If truly nothing exists, then a letter from a witness detailing the event will normally be accepted.
- What if I cannot make it to every class, or to every other scheduled meeting?
While we know that life circumstances can intrude during this process, it is absolutely essential that you make every attempt to be present for all classes and all scheduled activities. If for some reason, you cannot be present, please contact us prior to the class or activity. We will make available material you miss.
MINISTRY CONTACTS: Deacon Derek & Terri Brown