Last Sunday, at the 11:00am Mass, we celebrated the combined Rites of Acceptance and Welcoming with the participants in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). The Rites of Acceptance and Welcoming are celebrated at the end of the inquiry period at the first public gathering for those seeking initiation.
- The Rite of Acceptance is celebrated for inquirers who wish to receive all three Sacraments of Initiation — Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist. After celebrating this Rite, they become Catechumens.
- The Rite of Welcoming is celebrated for inquirers who have been baptized in a Christian faith tradition previously and wish to receive the Sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist. After celebrating this Rite, they become Candidates.
The Rites are a sign that these inquirers are ready to journey deeper into the Paschal Mystery of Jesus Christ, making His life, death and resurrection the pattern of their lives along the way. After being presented to the community, they each are marked with the cross, the sign of all the faithful. We also give each of them experienced guides — sponsors, mentors and others to help them as they progress.
The community promises to be with the new RCIA participants on this journey. By observing our prayer, words, deeds and actions in the parish and in the broader community, they learn what it means to live as a Catholic Christian today.
For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the LORD, plans for your welfare, not for woe! Plans to give you a future full of hope.(Jer 29:11)