Thursday, December 3, 2009
RCIA: Rite of Acceptance into the Catechumenate
The RCIA or the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults is the process by which adults are initiated in the Catholic faith community. Rather than just a catechetical programme, the RCIA is a process of ongoing faith growth and conversion.
The entire process is divided into several periods marking different stages of conversion and commitment: the pre-catechumenate or period of inquiry, the catechumenate, purification and enlightenment and mystagogy. These stages are punctuated by rites, which celebrate the stages of growth and conversion.
The Church of Visitation witnessed the Rite of Acceptance into the Catechumenate, first of these rites last weekend, November 28 (English and BM sections) and 29 (Tamil and Mandarin Sections). This rite marks an important transition from the period of inquiry/precatechumenate to the period of the catechumenate. Prior to this rite, the candidates were called Inquirers. Subsequently, they are officially known as Catechumens, candidates for baptism.