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  #1  
Old Jan 3, '09, 11:08 am
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mkipp mkipp is offline
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Default RCIA and Easter Vigil

I am in RCIA now and was wondering what happens at Easter Vigil. Gob Bless
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  #2  
Old Jan 3, '09, 1:05 pm
Texas Roofer Texas Roofer is offline
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Default Re: RCIA and Easter Vigil

oh a new liturgical candle is lit, a candle light entrance, then about seven readings, baptism, confirmation, and first Eucharist. About four hours in all, is there a specific part you want to know about?
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  #3  
Old Jan 3, '09, 6:21 pm
Schluns Schluns is offline
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Default Re: RCIA and Easter Vigil

As the Easter Vigil approaches, your instructor will begin to prepare you for the vigil. Depending if you are a catechumen or a candidate, your role will differ slightly. You will receive communion for the first time, prior to the rest of the congregation. Depending if you attend EF or OF the format will be different.
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  #4  
Old Jan 3, '09, 6:24 pm
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damooster damooster is offline
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Default Re: RCIA and Easter Vigil

Not to get off topic, but I can't wait! I'm nervous and excited at the same time.

Ok, back to the topic...

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  #5  
Old Jan 3, '09, 6:43 pm
Texas Roofer Texas Roofer is offline
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Default Re: RCIA and Easter Vigil

Catechumens (non-baptized) will have much more going on that night. The candidates (previously baptized) will mostly seat through most of the Mass then join the newly baptized late in the Mass for confirmation.
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  #6  
Old Jan 3, '09, 7:49 pm
Angels Unaware Angels Unaware is offline
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Default Re: RCIA and Easter Vigil

The Easter Vigil is the most beautiful, incredible 4 days in the Liturgical year.

On Holy Thursday there is a foot-washing ceremony. On Good Friday there will be a veneration of the cross at the front of the parish. Then, the alter will be stripped bare to symbolize Christ's time in the grave and the blessed sacrament removed. Saturday is quiet and silent, and your RCIA director may have you go through a spiritual retreat in preparation of the vigil.

At dusk, the priest lights a fire outside. The congregation gathers around as the new fire is blessed and the candle it. The priest carries the candle into the church. The church is completey dark. As the candle enters the church, light from the new fire is used to light candles in the congregation. Usually everyone has their own candle.

The service is conducted in darkness until about halfway through, after the readings (I think).

Baptisms are first. The Litany of the Saints is sung or chanted at this time, which is gorgeous. Adults and children are all baptized together after the priest recites a prayer asking you to renounce Satan and all his works.

After you are baptized, you will go change out of your dark gown into a white gown and come back in for confirmation.

After confirmation is the liturgy of the eucharist, and you take communion with the entire parish.

It is 2 and half to 4 hours, depending on how many people are entering the church and usually ends at 11 or 12.
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  #7  
Old Jan 3, '09, 8:25 pm
tundramom tundramom is offline
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Default Re: RCIA and Easter Vigil

This is my favorite week of the year! I went through RCIA in 1999. I couldn't wait to become Catholic!!!

I still think it's so incredibly significant in my Faith building. I wouldn't miss that week... From Palm Sunday, and then starting helping with the decorating committee on Wednesday evening.

All of Lent has built up to this incredible time. When I was a Protestant, we didn't celebrate the Liturgical Year and I felt it was so hollow. It surprised me that Catholics actually go to Mass on Christmas day! We never did... either in Mormonism or the AofG.

Enjoy your first Vigil and Holy Week. As you become more involved with your daily Faith it will only become more rich and beautiful!

in Christ
Steph
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  #8  
Old Jan 9, '09, 10:33 am
csg1976 csg1976 is offline
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Default Re: RCIA and Easter Vigil

Quote:
Originally Posted by damooster View Post
Not to get off topic, but I can't wait! I'm nervous and excited at the same time.

Ok, back to the topic...


Don't mean to be off topic either, but I can't wait too!!!! Ok, sorry...
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  #9  
Old Jan 10, '09, 10:54 pm
mystagogia mystagogia is offline
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Default Re: RCIA and Easter Vigil

Hello folks!

I've been in a RCIA program since last year, too. My, what a thing this RCIA is!

I know that I am in an utter state of confusion right now. If I had to say what religion I was at this point, I'd say, "becoming Catholic", the same as last August or so.

Now, I am going to persevere with this, and I am going to get through this task. Understand, however, that this is what becoming a Catholic is these days - it's a task. I have weekly RCIA meetings that I have to attend, despite the fact that my job takes me all over the place with little notice.

I really enjoy the RCIA classes when I can get to them, by the way, and I can't stand it when I have to beg off because of schedule conflicts (which are regrettably legion).

I've missed half of them due to job demands, and as of this year I'm on track to pretty much miss all of them (I've got a 6-month deployment to an inhospitable and un-Christian place looming).

I suppose the RCIA structure is going to break down for me, and I will have to try again next season. That's not so bad from my perspective since I do like the classes and I have patience. I'll go another year of "becoming Catholic".

All this does seem absurd to me, however, coming from an evangelical Protestant background. Why can't we, if you give me the 'we' and think of me as a Catholic, open arms and bring people on-board so to speak, then work with them?

RCIA resembles a trial in many potentially off-putting respects, as attested by the absence of several people who started with me last year and have not been seen again for RCIA.

RCIA, a great program as a teaching tool in my estimation, does present a too-high barrier for entry to the Catholic faith, which is a shame.

RCIA is a great idea, but with big, big issues if you ask me. You don't grow a church or any enterprise) by putting up such huge entry barriers, that's just a cold, hard fact.
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  #10  
Old Jan 11, '09, 8:11 am
Angels Unaware Angels Unaware is offline
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Default Re: RCIA and Easter Vigil

mystagogia,

I doubt that it is true that you will not be able to enter the Church this Easter just for missing classes. If you have enough of the basics, are a baptized Protestant Christian, and have a strong desire to enter the Church an accommodation can and should be made for you.

This is especially true if you will be out of the country in a potentially dangerous place in April during the Easter Vigil. I was not sure if that was what you were implying or not. If that is the case, I am sure that your priest would desire for you to receive the sacraments while you are deployed. Special cases can be made for people who are going into life-threatening situations.

I urge you to talk to your priest.
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  #11  
Old Jan 11, '09, 8:23 am
SuscipeMeDomine SuscipeMeDomine is offline
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Default Re: RCIA and Easter Vigil

Quote:
Originally Posted by mystagogia View Post
All this does seem absurd to me, however, coming from an evangelical Protestant background. Why can't we, if you give me the 'we' and think of me as a Catholic, open arms and bring people on-board so to speak, then work with them?
Does this mean you've already been baptized? If so, that changes things substantially. You don't need to be received into the Church at the Easter Vigil. (I'd say that you shouldn't be received at the Easter Vigil. In my archdiocese the cardinal has made it clear that the Vigil is for catechumens only.)

If you've been going to the classes -- even if you've missed some -- you should have learned a lot about what the Church believes and teaches.

Talk to your RCIA director and pastor. Explain your situation and see if they can't meet your need to be received into the Church, preferably before your deployment. RCIA isn't meant to be something that takes years and years.
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  #12  
Old Jan 11, '09, 9:06 pm
YinYangMom YinYangMom is offline
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Default Re: RCIA and Easter Vigil

Quote:
Originally Posted by mystagogia View Post
Why can't we, if you give me the 'we' and think of me as a Catholic, open arms and bring people on-board so to speak, then work with them?

RCIA resembles a trial in many potentially off-putting respects, as attested by the absence of several people who started with me last year and have not been seen again for RCIA.

RCIA is a great idea, but with big, big issues if you ask me. You don't grow a church or any enterprise) by putting up such huge entry barriers, that's just a cold, hard fact.
I don't know if I'm correct with regard to official church teaching, but my take on why we don't just open our arms to let you in and then let you commit later is because becoming Catholic is a lifetime commitment, like marriage.

With protestant denominations church hopping is standard, not so with Catholicism. Your "Yes" has to mean "Yes", forever, not "yes", until something else comes along. Coming into full communion with the Church is a seal of God's grace which comes with the gifts of the Holy Spirit. If we were to let you in first, and seal you forever, but then you find for yourself that this just doesn't wash with you, then what? You can't undo the sacraments.

There is a deeper, fullness of Truth in Catholicism that the other faiths do not offer. There's not a lot to lose by changing Christian denominations, but with Catholicism, you'd lose the sacraments, particularly the Eucharist. To demonstrate the permanence of the commitment on God's part, however, the Church will let you receive the Eucharist later on, should you change your mind again, after a full confession (like the prodigal son). The sacraments will always be there for you even if you walk away.

Yes RCIA seems like a trial. People complain about our marriage preparation process, too, because it takes months - there are surveys, classes, documents to get in order - but the Church requires the preparation because marriage is until death do you part. She wants to be sure you and your partner fully understand the depth and nature of the covenant you're about to enter into. If, after all the prep, you still want to marry, then God's grace be with you. If you change your mind during the prep phase, that's better than changing your mind after you are bound to each other before God, because even if you divorce you're still married in the eyes of God before whom you exchanged your vows.

When you enter the Church you become a soldier of Christ, much as the early disciples were after he rose from the dead. That's a big responsibility. RCIA may seem an odd process, but the way I recall Acts, it doesn't seem much different than what the early Christians went through. They didn't just arrive at the door out of the blue to be baptized. They usually attended several gatherings over time to learn the teachings of the faith from the apostles/ministers, thought about what those teachings meant, asked questions of other Christians, until they felt they were ready to be baptized. Those who had the authority to administer the sacraments asked certain foundational questions before performing them. According to Justin Martyr only those who were baptized partook of the breaking of the bread during that time, too. It was big deal then, it's a big deal now.
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  #13  
Old Jan 11, '09, 9:54 pm
mystagogia mystagogia is offline
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Default Re: RCIA and Easter Vigil

I agree with what you say regarding the lasting commitment of joining the church, and that it is not something to be taken lightly.

I disagree that Protestants take such things as baptism lightly. I grew up in a fundamentalist Baptist family, baptized not as an infant but as a late teenager with open eyes backed by a clear decision, as is typical. I was not baptized with the expectation that I would church hop, either. It was a rather serious affair. Baptist ministers used to criticize Catholics for infant baptism precisely because of the seriousness of the commitment, as a matter of fact.

Yes, the Methodists and the Presbyterians and so forth will take my Southern Baptist baptism as authentic. As does the Catholic church, too, as it turns out. I'm a "candidate", not a catechumen.

Protestants are keen to talk about "the Walk", a difficult life-long process of maturation and growth as a Christian, a journey whose first step is baptism in Christ. It is not so far apart from the Apostolic or Catholic conception if you ask me.

As a matter of fact, I my "walk" has led me to Rome as it were. What famous Protestant who, upon surveying the Church Fathers, was surprised to say, "to be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant?"

Well it's all no matter, anyway. I'll get through this RCIA, even if it takes until next year before they let me. Until whatever time I'll just be the eternal candidate it seems.
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  #14  
Old Jan 12, '09, 7:58 am
puzzleannie puzzleannie is offline
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Default Re: RCIA and Easter Vigil

you will have a retreat or preparation day and "rehearsal" for lack of a better word will happen then so you can be prepared. your sponsor should be there because he or she has a significant role to play. You will be also told what to wear, and what to bring to change into, to wear your hair simply, forego makeup if you will be baptized by immersion or pouring, and so forth.

Briefly, the congregation gathers outside for lighting the paschal fire, the catechumens (actually, the elect, as they are called during Lent) process in with the servers and priest but do not carry a candle, as everyone else does. The candles are lit from paschal candle, as the whole church is in darkness. the exultet, great hym of praise and proclamation of the Resurrection is sung, Mass begins and the candles are extinguished as the lights are raised in Church. There are anywhere from 3 to 9 readings from Old Testament, relating the high points of salvation history, the epistle and Gospel proclamation of the Resurrection. Then the elect make a profession of faith and are baptized, with the whole assembly rejoicing, and led away to dress. If there are any being brought into full communion, they make a profession of faith. The baptized come back, receive their white garment and candle, lit from the paschal candle. Then all candidates are confirmed through laying on of hands, invocation of the holy spirit, and anointing with chrism oil.

They return to their seats and the Mass proceeds, the prayer of the faithful will include prayers for the new Catholics, and the candidates receive first communion with the rest of the assembly. And Mass ends with solemn blessing and dismissal.

Recommend if you family has a celebration planned it be deferred to Easter Sunday during the day or another time. Depending on the number of candidates the vigil will take from 2-3 hours, and you will be physically, mentally and spiritually exhausted. Afterward is a time for quiet, meditation, rest and sleep, not a party.

You should continue meeting with your group for a minimum of the weeks after Easter until Pentecost, as this support and explanation of the mysteries "mystagogy" is critical in your conversion process, and experience has proven it is essential if you are to remain firm in your faith.

This Easter Vigil is the foundation of all Sunday liturgy, all Masses are a little Easter, and this is the high point of the Church year. Ideally it should be the only Easter Mass, although some parishes do provide another Mass on Easter day if the size of the parish necessitates.
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  #15  
Old Jan 12, '09, 10:21 pm
YinYangMom YinYangMom is offline
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Default Re: RCIA and Easter Vigil

Quote:
Originally Posted by mystagogia View Post
I agree with what you say regarding the lasting commitment of joining the church, and that it is not something to be taken lightly.

I disagree that Protestants take such things as baptism lightly. I grew up in a fundamentalist Baptist family, baptized not as an infant but as a late teenager with open eyes backed by a clear decision, as is typical. I was not baptized with the expectation that I would church hop, either. It was a rather serious affair. Baptist ministers used to criticize Catholics for infant baptism precisely because of the seriousness of the commitment, as a matter of fact.
I understand protestants take baptism seriously, but it's baptism into Jesus Christ, where ever he may be, I guess, is how I see it. I'm sure I'm not conveying this correctly, but the Catholic baptism isn't just tied to accepting Jesus into one's life, it's tied to doing so through his church, THE Catholic church. We can't go to other services to find him there because they don't have the sacraments Jesus left us, but for denominations who consider baptism in Christ all you need, is it ok to attend a Methodist service one week, a Baptist service another and a Evangelical Free service the following one? I was under the impression, perhaps erroneously, that protestants believe it doesn't matter where one worships, just that they believe in Jesus.

Quote:
Yes, the Methodists and the Presbyterians and so forth will take my Southern Baptist baptism as authentic. As does the Catholic church, too, as it turns out. I'm a "candidate", not a catechumen.
I know the church recognizes Trinitarian baptism so if that's what was invoked in yours it makes sense.

Quote:
Protestants are keen to talk about "the Walk", a difficult life-long process of maturation and growth as a Christian, a journey whose first step is baptism in Christ. It is not so far apart from the Apostolic or Catholic conception if you ask me.
Something I give full credit to that movement for, too. They're really good about getting that message across, especially in music. Alas, as humans, we all fail to walk the walk as much as we should.

Quote:
As a matter of fact, I my "walk" has led me to Rome as it were. What famous Protestant who, upon surveying the Church Fathers, was surprised to say, "to be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant?"

Well it's all no matter, anyway. I'll get through this RCIA, even if it takes until next year before they let me. Until whatever time I'll just be the eternal candidate it seems.
I do believe the other denominations do serve a purpose for the Lord in instilling the fire, the desire, to fully know Christ so that by the time they consider the Catholic church they can truly appreciate the gift of the Real Presence they will receive when they commit themselves to Catholicism.

Peace and patience to you on your continued journey. I will keep you in your prayers and look forward to reading about your easter vigil welcoming, whenever it may be.
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