What is the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA)?
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is a process of Christian formation by which those who are seeking full communion with the Church. RCIA may also be referred to as ‘the Catechumenate’.
The RCIA is a process, not a program. It is a process which responds to Christ’s invitation to unbaptised (catechumens), and to candidates (those who have received Baptism in other Christian denominations), to come and see how the Catholic community live, pray and worship. The process supports those seeking to deepen their personal relationship with Christ through developing familiarity with the Gospel teachings, deepening the personal experience of prayer and worship and help discern the movement of the Holy Spirit.
The process has several stages and ritual steps, leading up to the reception of all three sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist, usually at the Easter Vigil.
Conversion to Christ is at the heart of this journey both for those seeking membership of the Church and the parish community. The Priest, Parish Catechist, Sponsors and Godparents, together with the prayers and welcome of the wider Parish community, provides the hospitality for new members to fully assimilate and actively engage in the liturgical life of the Church. This why this journey takes place within the parish community.