Can a baptized person be recieved into the Church at Midnight Mass?

I am baptized and in RCIA. I want to make my first Communion and Confirmation at the Christmas midnight Mass. I read that baptized Christians who seek full communion with the Church are not supposed to be received during the Easter Vigil, but on any Sunday. Because Christmas falls on a Saturday this year, the Sunday following is not a separate day of obligation. With this in mind, can I be recieved into the Church during the Christmas Midnight Mass.

Please pray for me in my conversion.

You can be received at any time of the year. Its up to your pastor, talk with him.

If your pastor suggests a different Sunday Mass, do not feel bad. The preparation for Midnight Mass is very extensive, and bringing another element in may be too difficult considering the involvement of so many people in that Mass.

Welcome Home :smiley: If you can be received on a different day of the week, you might consider the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, on the 8th.

Have a chat with your parish priest. Has he or your catechist determined that you are at the stage in your instruction that you are ready to be confirmed? I may be getting my canon law mixed up here, but does your diocesan Bishop allow priests to confirm in these circumstances? I think your priest might be a little reluctant to confirm you at Midnight Mass but only he can tell you that. I can understand why you’d like to be confirmed at that Mass but don’t be upset if he says ‘no’.

I agree with the other posters. On a separate note, Christmas is on a Saturday this year, but the Sunday the 26th is still a day of obligation (but not for non-Catholics).

Actually that is not correct. The RCIA programs are designed so that acceptance into the Church for both baptised (I was a baptised Methodist) and non-baptised happens at Easter.

Yes, I have been in RCIA since February. The reason for the delay is due to my parents’ consent. I’ve waited out of respect for them, but I am not longer a minor so I have no need to wait.

The RCIA PROCESS (not program) is “designed” for the unbaptized. It is by way of exception that candidates are brought into the Church at the Easter Vigil. The RITE states that the baptized can be brought into Full Communion without undue delay, basically whenever they are ready. We bring people into the church at different points during the year. We also bring some in at Easter if they have been part of the process and it so happens that is when they are ready. We have one candidate now who we are not sure if we will bring her in earlier as she has been attending mass for years, raising her kids Catholic and knows a lot about the faith…so why make her wait.

From the RCIA book approved for the USA:
"562. Pastoral considerations may suggest that along with the celebration of the sacraments of Christian initiation the Easter Vigil should include the rite of reception of already baptized Christians into the full communion of the Catholic Church. …

  1. The decision to combine the two celebrations at the Easter Vigil must be guided by the provision in the Rite of Reception, Introduction (no. 475.2). The decision should, then, be consistent in the actual situation with respect for ecumenical values and be guided by attentiveness both to local conditions and to personal and family preferences. The person to be received should always be consulted about the form of reception (see no. 475.2)."

This 475.2 has: “Any appearance of triumphalism should be carefully avoided and the manner of celebrating this Mass should be decided beforehand and with a view to the particular circumstances. Both the ecumenical implications and the bond between the candidate and the parish community should be considered. Often it will be preferable to celebrate the Mass with only a few relatives and friends. …”.

(From The Rites Volume One, Liturgical Press, 1990, ISBN: 0-8146-6015-0.)

You are quibbling over words. Process/Program?? Its irrelevant.

I don’t know any adult (baptised or unbaptised) who has gone through RCIA who has not been received into the Church at Easter. If there are any they must be a tiny minority.
The reason for RCIA is to ensure that those looking at the Catholic Church learn about the Catholic faith and are sure they want to convert, AND it gives those running the RCIA classes (is that a permissable word???) the opportunity to decide if those in the class are sincere about wanting to become Catholics. If it not sufficient for someone simply to say I want to become a Catholic so please make me a Catholic.

Hello, nice to meet you. Now you know someone who wasn’t received at the Easter Vigil. My parish has the regular RCIA that lasts from September to Easterish for the non-baptized or totally uncatechized. We also have a shorter process, 3 months or so, for the already baptized and catechized. They are received at Christ the King (as I was) for the fall group or Easter Vigil for the spring group. We also have an even shorter group for those who are already Catholic and just need confirmation.

Sure we want to make sure people are knowledgeable and informed before making the decision to become Catholic, but many people are already well on their way to that. For someone who has been living an active Christian life and already studied some about what the Church believes, they just need a shorter time to make sure they have caught on to the major things and are sincere in their desire to be Catholic.

The baptized are supposed to be received as soon as they are ready, not made to wait for some arbitrary date months down the road. For some, being ready could take a year; for others who are well catechized when they first inquire, it could take a month or less. The Rite is clear:
473. This is the liturgical rite by which a person born and baptized in a separated ecclesial Community is received, according to the Latin rite, into the full communion of the Catholic Church. **The rite is so arranged that no greater burden then necessary (see Acts 15:28) is required for the establishment of communion and unity. **
To make a catechized baptized person take the same classes as a catechumen is indeed a greater burden than necessary.

Really? Exactly how many people do you know who have converted from Protestant churches? There is quite a variety in Protestant churches and for many of them, the beliefs are quite similar, simply missing a few things.

In addition to that, many people who are planning on converting have done quite a bit of reading and learning before they start RCIA.

Is going to class and spending time with Catholics an important thing before one converts? Sure, but that doesn’t necessarily require an 8+ month process. It can quite likely be done in a couple of months.

**To make a catechized baptized person take the same classes as a catechumen is indeed a greater burden than necessary./**QUOTE]

Only Catholics are catechized. Why would a Catholic go through RCIA?
Protestants are not catechized, i.e. they know basically nothing about the Catholic faith and the Church. They may have done bible study with the myriads of private interpretations that Protestants have which is quite a different thing.
They know little, if nothing, about the Church and its teachings (just like the unbaptised) and RCIA is the place to gain that knowledge.
Only Catholics are catechized??? I don’t think so. Some Protestants come to us already very well catechized and need only a few sessions to be ready to make their Profession of Faith.

You pastor may decide that the Christmas eve service is already jam-packed (it’s a long service with lots going on) and it would be great to wait until another, less busy service so that your reception into the Church can get the attention it deserves. You might think about the feast of the Holy Family (Sunday after Christmas) or Epiphany (January 6), the celebration of the revelation of Christ to the world and the visit of the wise men to pay homage to Jesus, the newborn King. In the early Church, Epiphany was also a traditional time for receiving adults into the Church.

Whenever you are received into the Church, welcome! May God richly bless you.

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