RCIA Adapted For Children

RCIA Goal: Initiation versus Teaching 
The RCIA initiation process is not only about teaching the facts – 
It is about becoming part of the community.  
Expect something to happen and celebrate it in ritual.  
Immerse the children/families in the community - 
not just teach them about facts in our Catholic faith.

  
RCIA adapted for children (sometimes referred to as children’s catechumenate) is the process for Unbaptized Children: Ages 7+ through age 17th to enter the church and fully initiated (Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist).   The RCIA-Children classes are held on weekly basis and are conducted family style – at least one parent must accompany the child(ren) at the classes. 
  
RCIA process consists of four phases

  • Precatechumenate
  • Period of Catechumenate
  • Purification and Enlightenment
  • Mystagogia   
PERIOD OF PRECATECHUMENATE


Inquiry ( Inquirers)                    Begin with Inquiry Process

Asking questions about the church, mass, things that they’ve seen people doing at chruch, etc. Can last anywhere from 3 months to 1 year. Inquiry process will include both parents and children.                                                                                     

 

Rite of Acceptance            Who’s ready to move on?

Celebrate the Rite of Acceptance more than once a year (pending).  Children will celebrate in the larger community with the adults

Family Interview: A date/time will be set for an Interview with the RCIA Team who will meet with each family individually.  Through their discussion during this interview, we will determine if the children/family is ready to take this first public step.  Children who show a general lack of interest or enthusiasm, or who have missed a significant number of sessions, should continue in the inquiry stage.   

Celebrate Rite of Acceptance:  date to be determined  

                                         
Rite of Acceptance Ceremony Outline

  • Receiving the Children
  • Children express their intention
  • Affirmation by the Parents (Sponsors) and the Assembly
  • Signing of the Candidates with the cross
  • Signing of the other senses
  • Invitation to Celebration of the Word of God

  
 

PERIOD OF CATECHUMENATE   

                                                                
Catechumen 

Rite of Elect Children preparing for the Rite of Election or their parents need to choose one or two godparents. Sponsor (parent) is expected to attend the Rite of Election, and the godparent(s) at the celebration of the sacraments of initatiation at the Easter Vigil.               

Rite of Election for children will be celebrated during Lent 

The RCIA allows for a separate Rite for the children focused on the children for richer meaning. 

 

Rite of Election: Ceremony Outline celebrated with the Bishop 

  • Presentation of the Catechumens
  • Affirmation by the parents, godparents and assembly
  • Invitation and Enrollment of Names
  • Act of admission or Election
  • Recognition of the godparents

                                                
DISMISSALS                       

When the children enter the Catechumenate, they will begin attending the 9:15 Mass for the Rite of Dismissal and “breaking open” the Word. 

The Dismissals for children will begin following the Rite of Acceptance..  The family attends Mass.  Children sit with their family and are dismissed after the homily.  Parents join children at end of Mass. Weekly Instruction will occur based on normal schedule. 
 

 

PERIOD OF PURIFICATION & ENLIGHTENMENT (Lent) 
 

Elect

  • What is Lent
  • Rite of Election
  • Scrutinizes – taking a hard look at evil and the Church community prays for deliverance and freedom from evil
  • Nicene Creed
  • Community/laity
  • Lord’s Prayer
  • Meaning of Holy Week 
  1. The scrutinies are rites for self-searching and repentance and have above all a spiritual purpose.  The scrutinies are meant to uncover then heal all that is weak, defective, or sinful in the hearts of the elect, to bring out, then strengthen all that is upright, strong, and good.
  2. These penitential rites are major occasions in their catechumenate.  They are held within a celebration of the word of God as a kind of scrutiny.    
  3. The conditions for their celebration is that the children are approaching the maturity of faith and understanding requisite for baptism.
  4. The children and their godparents participate in the celebration of these penitential rites. 
  5. The penitential rites or scrutinies are celebrated the third, fourth, and fifth Sundays during Lent.  At least one penitential rite is to be celebrated. 
  6.  

Outline for Scrutiny:

  • Prayer
  • Readings
  • Homily Intercessions
  • Anointing with the Oil of Catechumens (or Laying on of Hands)
  • Dismissal of the children

  

Practice & Eucharist Retreat:  To prepare for the Easter Vigil Service, the children and parents will attend a Family Eucharist Retreat

  1. Practice for the reception of First Communion will be done with the children at the retreat.

 


Celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation

EASTER VIGIL CEREMONY: (Holy Saturday)

Full Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation & Eucharist

       

Outline of Celebration of Sacraments:

  • Invitation to Prayer
  • Celebration of Baptism
  • Profession of Faith
  • Baptism
  • Celebration of Confirmation
  • Liturgy of the Eucharist

 

PERIOD OF MYSTAGOGIA

Neophyte

  1. A period of post-baptismal catechesis is provided to assist the young neophytes (newly initiated)
  2. The children gather together during their class sessions to discuss their experience of the Easter Vigil. 
  3. Children are to continue their ongoing faith formation by attending Religious Education classes.
  4. Catechesis and preparation for the reception of the Sacrament of Reconciliation will happen in their third year of religious education.