RCIA question??


#1

I am a first time poster here. I was raised Baptist but have decided to convert. My RCIA class began in June and ends in November?? According to our schedule of classes we had a Rite of Welcoming at the end of July (which I was a part of) and our reception into the church is supposed to be on November 4. From all that I have read about the church however, it looks as if confirmation is not supposed to take place until the Easter Vigil. Is it ok/regular to have a confirmation in November? Is this sort of thing a local parish matter that can take place at any time of the year?? I am afraid to ask those in charge but would like to know. They do have another session which begins in September but I coach wrestling in the fall and my schedule was tight so I opted for the June - November session. There was also nothing on the schedule about a Rite of Sending?? which I have read about. Any info on this matter would be helpful. I am looking forward to my first confession and my first Eucharist.


#2

The timing of when a person is received into full communion with the Church varies based on the diocese, and the person as well. Some dioceses bring in all at the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday, and some bring in those who need Baptism then and the rest at other times. In some places and for some new-commers who only need the sacraments that follow Baptism, and who understand and accept Catholic teaching, can be welcomed after spending some time with a priest to make sure they fully understand what they are doing. Some candidates, like a non-catholic spouse who has been studying on their own and attending mass regularly take little time, others take longer. None the less the complete RCIA process is highly recommended for all, but is not a hard and fast requirement in all places.

May you find His Peace on your journey, and Welcome Home!


#3

I’m also in the RCIA program (started in June, as well) so I’m not one to give answers to questions such as yours. I just wanted to welcome you. :slight_smile:


#4

Kettle,

What type of schedule do yall have?? When is your reception into the church?? I am intererested. Thanks.

–CW


#5

Hi cw4lsu,
The minister of the sacrament of Confirmation is the bishop. He usually authorizes the pastor of each parish to confirm in his stead during the Easter vigil mass, and sometimes during the Easter season, because he can’t be everywhere at once. So this is most likely the reason you’re not being confirmed this fall.

As for the Rite of Sending, this is a liturgical rite usually incorporated into a mass on the First Sunday of Lent. The RCIA team (including the pastor) affirms the formation of the catechumens (the unbaptized) thus far, and the parish “sends” the catechumens to the bishop for the Rite of Election at the cathedral (usually) that afternoon or evening. This rite serves as a gateway to the RCIA period of Purification and Enlightenment, which is LENT. The unbaptized are called “the elect” from this rite until they receive the three sacraments of initiation at the Easter vigil mass. Actually, every Catholic is supposed to take this period seriously, every year – we spiritually work at purifying our hearts through penance, almsgiving and good works which help us transform ourselves with the grace of God.

You are already baptized – in our parish the candidates preparing for Confirmation and Eucharist have a liturgical rite called “The Rite of the Continuing Call to Conversion” on the First Sunday of Lent (and also enter the period of Purification and Enlightenment).

After the reception into the Catholic Church and of the sacraments, you are a “neophyte” for a year and enter the formal period of mystagogy. I hope your parish offers this mystagogy for you.

Please never be afraid to ask questions, either during or between your RCIA sessions! Enjoy your adventure of faith!


#6

CW, right now, we’re in the Inquiry period, and that’s all that we have a schedule for. Without having my book in front of me, I think we have a couple more weeks in the Inquiry before we get into the deeper studying of the Catechumenate. (I think it begins the first week in September.) Our reception into the church is held on Easter Vigil. :slight_smile:


#7

I’ve heard of some parishes having “short” RCIA schedules. My parish has year-round RCIA. I was in RCIA from Feb 2006 to Easter Vigil 2007. Our DRE said that the Church desires that each “convert” be in RCIA for a full liturgical season. However, if someone was already baptized, they could go ahead and enter the Church when they felt ready. For those of us that were unbaptized though, there would be NO entering before Easter Vigil since that’s the only time the Church welcomes newly baptized adults.


#8

Last night at our meeting, they said something about a new group was starting soon in a few weeks? I just wondered since I was already baptized in the Baptist church as a nine year old could I partake in the Eucharist as of November 4th or would I have to wait until Easter Vigil?? As far as Confession, they told me to go ahead and participate in this sacrament any time I wished. Like I said I feel odd asking questions of this nature.


#9

Asking the RCIA director is exactly who you should be asking these questions to, because answering questions is a part of what they’re there for. I am pretty sure that you won’t be the first person to have asked the same question, so just ask! :smiley:


#10

Hi cw4lsu, I think it depends on the parish. At my parish, the classes do start in September and culminate in Confirmation at East Vigil. Personally, I prefer the September - Easter format. I went to Easter Vigil earlier this year, and it was really beautiful! I knew then that’s when and where I want to be received into the Church. I know that waiting is hard, but pray for patience, because it’s well worth it!


#11

That’s how I see it, as well. I’m on the RCIA team in my parish; we run the Sept-Easter schedule (plus the period of Mystagogy from Easter to Pentecost.) While it’s true the Church allows reception of the sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist at other times for those already baptized in a Trinitarian rite, we ask everyone to attend the classes all year and receive their sacraments together with the Catechumens at the Easter Vigil. It helps create more of a community among the participants and their sponsors.

The previous posters who suggested you talk to your RCIA leader were, of course, correct. But please don’t feel reluctant to ask that person, or ask any question you might have on these forums. You’ll never learn unless you ask, catechesis being what it is in the Church these days. (OK, maybe that’s a little strong, but the main point is true. If we did nearly as good a job of teaching the faith as some of our separated brothers and sisters do of trying to tear us away from the Church…)


#12

Yes…I did ask. I am to be confirmed and recieved into the church on Nov. 4 but I was told I must go to confession at some point before. (I really need to go soon anyways.) I plan to attend the Easter Vigil and have been attending Mass every week at our local parish since February even though I have not participated in the Eucharist. I just felt odd asking a question of this nature feeling that that it might be percieved that I was questioning their process of confirmation into the church. I just had seen a lot of parishes that only do this at the Easter Vigil and wondered if a November confirmation was normal. Those that are to be baptized must wait until Easter Vigil. I was told another group is starting in mid-September and this group meets until April. Thanks for the advice, I have learned quite a bit about the church from this forum as well as through reading and prayer.


#13

Well, I’m glad you asked! Congratulations!!! :thumbsup:


#14

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