Is it necessary that baptized, uncatechized adults preparing for Confirmation and Eucharist celebrate the Rites preceding their reception into full Communion?

Article #401 in the RCIA instructs that the preparation of these Candidates requires considerable time. They will need full and suitable catechesis, familiarity with and practice in living the Christian way of life, time to establish patterns of prayer and worship, and understanding and cooperation with the notion that all of the baptized are called to be on mission. [See RCIA #75]

There is a need to make a distinction between uncatechized baptized Catholics and uncatechized baptized Christians of another Tradition when making a decision which rites are proper. Only those rites that would be appropriate to an individual would be celebrated for that individual. Therefore:

  • The Rite of Welcome would be appropriate for all since they are all beginning this journey together. This rite would be celebrated when a group of candidates are ready and the rite may be repeated as necessary in the course of the year
  • Presentation of the Book of the Gospels…only to those who are not familiar with the Word of God…have never read the bible…have no relationship with Christ
  • Celebrations of the Word…all candidates should be present at the celebration of the Eucharist every Sunday…but they are not ordinarily dismissed [all the baptized have an obligation to worship]. Catholic candidates are not dismissed. Christian candidates may be dismissed only if they choose to be dismissed. Perhaps some reflection on the Word and the celebration could happen after the Mass. Another option would be to begin the extended catechetical session with the Liturgy of the Word and time for reflection
  • Presentation of the Creed…either before or after an intense study of the articles of the Creed would be appropriate for all with the directive to memorize this prayer
  • Presentation of the Our Father…only for those who are not familiar with this prayer, have never prayed the Our Father
  • The Rite of Calling the Candidates to Continuing Conversion…this optional rite is meant for communities where there are no catechumens. The rite is celebrated at the parish with the pastor as presider. [A pastor has responsibility for all the baptized in his parish]
  • If there are catechumens and candidates the combined Rite of Election and Rite of Calling the Candidates to Continuing Conversion is celebrated at the Cathedral
  • The Penitential Rite…is an optional rite
  • Lent…is spent in reflective preparation for the reception of the sacrament of Reconciliation…it might be well to have all the candidates receive this sacrament more than once during the period of Lent
  • Reception of Baptized Christians into the Full Communion of the Catholic Church is a rite for Christians...not for Catholics. At the Easter vigil all the candidates [Catholic and Christian] profess their faith with the community. In addition the Christian candidates only make a declarative profession and are received into full communion
  • Rite of Confirmation…all candidates [Catholic and Christian] are now confirmed by the presider

When only some of the Candidates will be celebrating one of the Rites the other candidates are present as members of the assembly praying for and supporting these Candidates.