Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA)
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is the way in which adults who express a desire to become fully initiated Catholics engage in a process of conversion, receive basic catechetical instruction, and are welcomed into the Catholic community.
RCIA is a faith journey made by those interested in membership in the Catholic faith through celebration of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist. As we welcome these inquirers to the faith, they come to know Jesus and are enabled to carry out the mission of Jesus in daily life.
At Holy Trinity, this journey begins in early September and ends at Pentecost. During this faith journey the inquirers are supported by the example and prayer of the parish community, weekly catechetical sessions, Liturgical celebrations as well as opportunities of ministry and charitable works.
RCIA is composed of specific periods of time as well as liturgical celebrations as described in the following outline.
1. Period of Evangelization and Precatechumenate
This is a time when inquirers to the faith meet with members of the parish faith community to ask questions about being Catholic. Here they are also introduced to Jesus and the Gospel values, are introduced to prayer and have their initial faith stirrings supported. This period of evangelization lasts several weeks and is followed by a liturgical celebration.
Rite of Acceptance into the Catechumenate
This liturgical rite is usually celebrated in early November at Holy Trinity. At this rite the inquirers express and the Church accepts their intention to follow God’s call to the Catholic faith.
2. Period of Catechumenate
This time after the Rite of Acceptance through the 1st Sunday of Lent is a period for nurturing the growth of the catechumens faith and conversion to Jesus Christ. Weekly catechetical sessions and prayer assist the catechumens on their faith journey. Candidates baptized in other Christian faiths as well as Catholics preparing to complete initiation sacraments also continue in these catechetical sessions.
Rite of Acceptance and Enrollment of Names
This is the liturgical rite celebrated on the 1st Sunday of Lent at St. Paul’s Cathedral with the diocesan bishop presiding. Here the catechumens and candidates assemble with all those in the diocese from other parishes and are welcomed by the Bishop.
In this liturgy, the Church approves the catechumens readiness for the Sacraments of Initiation and the individuals express their will to celebrate these sacraments..Here the catechumens and candidates are surrounded by hundreds of others making this same faith journey.
3. Period of Purification and Enlightenment
This period consists of the six weeks of Lent immediately preceding the celebration of the initiation sacraments at the Easter Vigil. Weekly catechetical sessions continue but they are heavily focused on life-long conversion. This period is marked by Scrutinies on the 3rd, 4th and 5th Sundays of Lent. Catechumens are now referred to as the Elect.
Celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation
This rite is celebrated at the Easter Vigil when the elect are welcomed into the Church through the celebration of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist. Candidates are received into the Church at this time also.
4. Period of Mystogogy
This time consists of the Easter Season following the initiation celebrations. Here the newly initiated learn more about the Catholic faith they are now living. This is also the time to introduce the new members to various ministries in the parish and invite them to participate. During this time initiation leaders encourage the newly members to remain faithful to their Baptism by continuing to share in Sunday Eucharist.