How long does RCIA last before Sacraments are received?

My daughter has been going through RCIA for over a year now. She was welcomed into the Church half way through last lenten season and has attended classes every week without fail. She has been part of the parish community and family and has been an avid volunteer. Her spiritual growth has been tremendous also.
So - how long must she go through RCIA until she can be Baptized and receive the other Sacraments? In the beginning they told her it would take a year and that she would be baptized this Easter. Now they are telling her it will be another year until she is baptized. She feels ready and I also feel she is ready, but she now feels let down and that she had been lied to. I can’t blame her because the entire family and RCIA class thought that her baptism would be this year also. They aren’t holding her back because of any issues with her progress and I wonder if the people running the classes may have this wrong.
Can anyone with knowledge of the process please help us. Isn’t one year of classes and instruction enough?

BUMMED OUT :frowning:

What the! It should of only taken 1 year. I’m in RCIA and my time will come this easter hopefully.
I think you should talk to the priest about it

I would talk to the parish priest. I have read convert stories, who were deemed ready and were far advanced in their readiness and knowledge, the their priest made a special exemption for them to be received sooner.

And do pray and ask for Mary’s help.

Is there a marriage issue to be worked out?

RCIA takes as long as it takes
it is different for every individual
everyone starts at a different point, meets different obstacles, so the length of time on the journey cannot always be predicted.
In general, the catechumenate, the longest period of instruction based on the Sunday readings and the catechism, should take not less than one calendar year, from Lent to Lent of the following year. The period before that, Inquiry or pre-evangelization, can take weeks, months or years depending on the needs of the individual. During that time obstacles and issues, including but not limited to marriage issues, should be addressed and resolved.
The catechumen should be called to the Rite of Election at the beginning of the Lent just prior to the Easter on which they will be received.

It sounds as if your friend’s readiness for the Rite of Election, to be celebrated this coming week in most places, is now being discerned.
Encourage her to call her pastor today (they will be very busy) or tomorrow at the latest to discuss this with him personally. He should also consult the RCIA leader who may know facts, such as marriage issues, that pertain to the situation. The decision on whether she is ready for baptism belongs to the pastor, not to the RCIA leader, catechist or anyone he has delegated to prepare the catechumens.

At our parish, RCIA starts in September, and concludes shortly after Easter. Therefore the average time year to year is between six and eight months.

The length is the same irrespective of your spiritual status . . .non-Christian or prior-Christian.

Right now, my experience doesn’t suggest that there is a kind of “subtle evaluation” process that might result in a finding of “unworthiness”, . . . . well, I hope that’s not the case for anyone. I would never join any organization that was not up-front about all aspects of their initiation process. But as another poster to this thread suggested, perhaps there is an annulment process ongoing . . . .

Rather than speculating though, why not just go the the senior Priest and ask what’s going on? Get specifics, ask why these weren’t addressed immediately, thereby removing the uncertainty of the overall timing, etc.

Yeah, it’s typically a <1-year process, but there are always exceptions…if the RCIA director or Priest doesn’t believe somebody is ready, or isn’t serious, they might be asked to repeat the class…but in my experience this kind of thing is very rare.

It’s also possible that the RCIA program was badly run and the Priest discovered this and asked that it be done-over to make sure everybody has sufficient knowledge and understanding of Church teaching before being welcomed into full communion and receiving the Sacraments…but, again, this would be very rare. I’ve never actually heard of this happening.

Unfortunately I don’t have enough information about the situation to tell you exactly what happened, but it does seem to be out of the ordinary. RCIA usually runs from the fall (September-ish) until reception of the Sacraments at Easter, and then continues for some time after (for a kind-of, ‘okay, now what?’ period).

I’m an RCIA graduate myself, and have continued helping out with the program at my Parish in the years since, and the only times somebody didn’t receive the Sacraments at the Easter Vigil was when they decided not to of their own free choice, or if a marital situation (e.g., a previous marriage) had not yet been resolved.

Definitely good reason to ask the RCIA director and/or Priest what the reason is…

As puzzleannie said, for a Catechumen, it should be no less than a year because their primary evangelization is the full year of Scripture at Sunday Mass. Candidates, OTOH, can be brought into full communion at any time that they are ready. For some, well catechized Anglicans or Lutherans for example, that could be as little as 4-6 weeks; for others it could take a full year.

From the official liturgical book “Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults”:

"76 The duration of the catechumenate will depend on the grace of God and on various circumstances, such as the programme of instruction for the catechumenate, the number of catechists, deacons, and priests, the cooperation of the individual catechumens, the means necessary for them to come to the site of the catechumenate and spend time there, the help of the local community. Nothing, therefore, can be settled a priori.

The time spent in the catechumenate should be long enough — several years if necessary — for the conversion and faith of the catechumens to become strong. By their formation in the entire Christian life and a sufficiently prolonged probation the catechumens are properly initiated into the mysteries of salvation and the practise of an evangelical way of life. By means of sacred rites celebrated at successive times they are led into the life of faith, worship, and charity belonging to the people of God.

  1. It is the responsibility of the bishop to fix the duration and to direct the programme of the catechumenate. The conference of bishops, after considering the conditions of its people and region,[footnote 4: See Vatican Council II, Constitution on the Liturgy Sacrosanctum Concilium, art. 64.] may also wish to provide specific guidelines.At the discretion of the bishop, on the basis of the spiritual preparation of the candidate, the period of the catechumenate may in particular cases be shortened (see nos. 307, 308-311); in altogether extraordinary cases the catechumenate may be completed all at once (see nos. 308, 312-345)."

For more information, a lot of this book is in the RCIA introductions for England and Wales, at liturgyoffice.org.uk/Resources/Rites/RiteRitual.html . (Click on “Rite of Christian Initiation — Introductions (pdf)”). The USA edition has different paragraph numbers.

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