Baptism of a 10-year-old

I was asked this weekend, and I don’t know the answer. Can a 10 year old be baptized without classes? I remember in 6th grade, a girl came to our school and went through RCIA. But, what about a 10-year-old, Fifth grader? Would she have to go through RCIA or something similar?

Ask your Preist :slight_smile:

He may have to go through some classes, because he has passed the age of reason, and so did the girl in the 6th grade, obviously.

As Nick said, this is something to ask your priest. Since she would most likely also be making her First Holy Communion at the same time (or close to it), this would necessitate some instruction for her; parishes have classes for those older children who have not yet made their First Holy Communion.

My daughter was 10 when she was baptized and made her first communion. She went through RCIC.

If the child is a normal child they would have the use of reason and would be required by Canon Law to participate in the RCIA process and be Baptized,
Confirmed and receive the First Holy Communion at the Easter Vigil. Now if the child had not attained the use of reason then they would be considered an infant when it comes to Baptism. SO not only the physical age but also the mental age must be considered.

anyone over the age of reason (about 7) is considered an adult for the purposes of the sacraments of initiation - Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist, which are the Rites of Christian Initiation, along with the other liturgical rites which punctuate the process leading up to initiation.

This person must go through a period of inquiry and initial evangelization, a period of the catechumentate, the period of purification and enlightenment (usually Lent), and initiation at the Easter Vigil (or another suitable Sunday Mass for good pastoral reason). The priest who baptizes such an adult has the faculty to confirm, and must confirm.
The first period is the most flexible, and can take any length of time and ends with the Rite of Acceptance into the Order of the Catechumenate when the person is able to make the statements that are part of that right, namely that they are seeking Faith and what Christ promises to those who belong to His Church.

the catechumenate also lasts as long as is necessary for the individual to know and understand what he will be assenting to when he makes his profession of faith at Confirmation. It should be at least one year, from right after Easter until the beginning of the following Lent. Lent is marked by the Rite of Election, when the catechumens are welcomed by the Bishop and begin the final period of intense preparation. Lent is also marked by several minor rites: scrutinies, exorcisms and presentations.

The initiation itself is the sacraments of the Easter Vigil.

Children are prepared and guided through this process the same way as unbaptized adults, in a manner suitable to their age and understanding, through the Children’s Catechumenate.

Br. Rich,

Canon Law does not require RCIA, but rather ‘suitable instruction’, this can be any form that has been approved by the Ordinary. This may include individual classes, or even an examiniation by the pastor to see if the child has already been adequately instructed by their parents

While it is customary to recieve catechumens into the Church at Easter Vigil, that date is not mandated by Canon Law, and catechumens may be recieved into the Church throughout the year.

yes, canon law does require RCIA, that is, the Rites of Christian Initiation for Adults. “suitable instruction” and preparation is part of the process, but the rites themselves and the fact that for adults all three sacraments of initiation must be conferred at the same celebration, is clearly law. Refer to the statutes on RCIA. the manner, form, and length of time for the instruction part of the process can vary, but not at the discretion of the RCIA director, DRE, or pastor. The US Bishops (and I assume bishops of other countries) have established a national statute for RCIA so that is what we use. Please separate the Rites from the catechetical portion of the preparation for the rites.

What is not supposed to happen for a child over the age of reason is that she is baptized but not confirmed and given first communion at the same time. That is the most common abuse of the RCIA process.

I dont doubt you but can you give me the link to Canon Law regarding RCIA…I have not been able to find it here (

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