[quote="mootsa, post:1, topic:329235"]
I am seriously considering converting to Catholicism and have attended Mass regularly over the last 6 months. When I attended my first ever Mass I was living away from home, in a different city. Now that I am back in my own city, I have attended the local Catholic Church. I have noticed subtle differences in responses to Prayers e.g. "Lord Hear Our Prayer" and "Lord Graciously Hear Us". My question is why are there variations in responses?
Another question is that although I grew up in a mainly Methodist family and attended a Methodist High School, I was never baptised or Christened due to my Father not accepting Christianity. What is the procedure for an adult to be baptised and when do baptisms take place?
I'm in a similar situation. I grew up a baptist and have been attending a Catholic Church for a while. My plan is to convert and will share what the process is at the church I attend. Since I've only just begun the process, there is a chance I may misstate, please forgive me if I make such an error.
Back in the winter, I was involved in an inquiry. It was on Monday nights for about six weeks. They have three of these Inquiries a year. Mine went from Feb. to March, the Next was April to May and the last one started last week. They are identical so it's only necessary to do one inquiry.
The inquiry was fairly "basic" Catholicism and wasn't very deep. Most of it involved a cursory explanations in the differences of the Catholic Church and other denominations. Most of the time was spent on the things that most people have a problem with in the Catholic Church. Those things include the papacy, saint prayer, devotion to Mary, etc. In my inquiry, after three weeks, it was me and one other gentleman and the instructor. Both of us really like the church and had done our homework prior to Inquiry. We didn't need much help with the sticking points that a lot of people might have, so the instructor could breeze through the prepared material each session. Then we would spend the remainder of our time talking about the church and get some better depth to our instruction.
So at the final session, the instructor said, if your interested in going forward, and attending RCIA, (Rite of Christian Initiation Adult) let me know and we'll talk. I had no doubts and asked to be included.
Here is my understanding of what happens going forward. On August 18, there is an open house. We will receive our materials (Curriculum, books, schedule, etc.) at the Open House. Then RCIA will start the next week on the August 25 and if I remember correctly, it runs until Pentecost. However, the catechumens (cat·e·chu·men (k t -ky m n). n. 1. One who is being taught the principles of Christianity. 2. One who is being instructed in a subject at an elementary level.) come into full communion with the church at the Easter Vigil.
From what I understand, the catechumens, go to the 9 AM mass and are released from the mass prior to the Eucharist. Then they attend a large group lesson, then split into smaller groups for discussion.
According to what I've read, there are four periods and rather than try to explain that, let me post a link that explains it much better than I could. church.st-thomasmore.org/rcia_work
From what I understand, there are "vacation" periods due to families being away from the church. Thanksgiving, there wouldn't be a session and probably most of Advent and Christmastide. I don't know when those dates of "vacation" are but I have heard they are built into the process.
I did go to the Easter Vigil this year. I wanted to see those that were completing the process be accepted into full communion. However, it turned out to be so much more than I ever expected and those being received into full communion with the church, was a very small part of the entire thing. The service lasted over 3.5 hours. There were 7 old testament readings, 8 Responsorial Psalms, 1 Epistle reading and 1 Gospel reading. Also there were other readings, chants and songs that are not part of a usual mass. It was an incredible service and I hope to go to the Easter Vigil every year. Here are the readings for the Easter Vigil usccb.org/bible/readings/040712.cfm
Whether or not you go through RCIA this year, I recommend you go to the Easter Vigil. I would recommend that for anyone. It was the most incredible service ever. The Church takes lent so seriously, and I'm not saying that she shouldn't, and the focus on the suffering of Jesus can be overwhelming. Then to blow that all away with an incredible spiritual service, was simply fantastic. That process is something everyone should experience.
Baptisms were done during this service for those that had never had a trinitarian baptism. It's my understanding that all the candidates that had prior baptisms had a confession prior to being accepted into full communion with the church. Of course they must have as otherwise, they wouldn't have been offered the Eucharist. Those that hadn't been baptized did not need confession as the baptism they received in the service cleansed them of all sin. It's an advantage not having been baptized before. My baptism was 47 years ago, I'll have to make a confession for that time, you won't.
As you can tell, I'm a bit excited about the process as it is drawing near. My biggest fear, is having to leave mass early. I love the mass and would have a hard time getting in a weekly mass with this schedule. RCIA is already a 3 hour commitment, getting in another full mass each Sunday will be near impossible for this person.