RCIA and Adolescent Catechesis. How the Baptismal Catechumenate Applies to Youth Ministry and Religious Education

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1 RCIA and Adolescent Catechesis How the Baptismal Catechumenate Applies to Youth Ministry and Religious Education

2 "The model for all catechesis is the baptismal catechumenate when, by specific formation, an adult converted to belief is brought to explicit profession of baptismal faith during the Paschal Vigil". (1977 Synod, Message to the People of God 8) This catechumenal formation should inspire the other forms of catechesis in both their objectives and in their dynamism GDC 59

3 Catechumens Unbaptized persons preparing for full initiation Easter Vigil as normal occasion 4 periods and 3 liturgies 3

4 Precatechumenate Acceptance into the Order of Catechumens Catechumenate Election Purification and Enlightenment Initiation Mystagogy 4

5 THE PRECATECHUMENATE 5

6 Precatechumenate 36 Although the rite of initiation begins with admission to the catechumenate, the preceding period or precatechumenate is of great importance and as a rule should not be omitted. It is a time of evangelization: faithfully and constantly the living God is proclaimed and Jesus Christ whom he has sent for the salvation of all. Thus those who are not yet Christians, their hearts opened by the Holy Spirit, may believe and be freely converted to the Lord and commit themselves sincerely to him. For he who is the way, the truth, and the life fulfills all their spiritual expectations, indeed infinitely surpasses them. 6

7 Evangelization 37 From evangelization, completed with the help of God, come the faith and initial conversion that cause a person to feel called away from sin and drawn into the mystery of God s love. The whole period of the precatechumenate is set aside for this evangelization, so that the genuine will to follow Christ and seek baptism may mature. 7

8 Goals and nature of sessions 38 During this period, priests and deacons, catechists and other laypersons are to give the candidates a suitable explanation of the Gospel (see no. 42). The candidates are to receive help and attention so that with a purified and clearer intention they may cooperate with God s grace. Opportunities should be provided for them to meet families and other groups of Christians. 8

9 THE PERIOD OF THE CATECHUMENATE 9

10 RCIA 75 The catechumenate is an extended period during which the candidates are given suitable pastoral formation and guidance, aimed at training them in the Christian life. In this way, the dispositions manifested at their acceptance into the catechumenate are brought to maturity. This is achieved in four ways. 10

11 Catechesis 75/1 A suitable catechesis is provided - Κατηχηση 75/2 They become familiar with the Christian way of life - Κοινονια 75/3 Suitable liturgical rites purify and strengthen them - Λειτυργια 75/4 Catechumens spread the gospel - Διακονια 11

12 75/1 A suitable catechesis is provided by priests or deacons, or by catechists and others of the faithful, planned to be gradual and complete in its coverage, accommodated to the liturgical year, and solidly supported by celebrations of the word. This catechesis leads the catechumens not only to an appropriate acquaintance with dogmas and precepts but also to a profound sense of the mystery of salvation in which they desire to participate. 12

13 Year-round The following should be noted about the time of celebrating the rite of acceptance into the order of catechumens... Two dates in the year, or three if necessary, are to be fixed as the usual times for carrying out this rite (RCIA 18). A Year-round catechumenate indicates that people are able to enter this step at several times a year - Different from a year-long catechumenate 13

14 Lectionary Catechesis accommodated to the liturgical year The annual unfolding of the mystery of Christ The time of year and the biblical cycle lead the content of the catechesis 14

15 Paradigms Various catechetical textbooks The Precepts of the Church The Creed Balancing the needs of the Church with those of individuals The 10 Commandments The Beatitudes 15

16 75/2 As they become familiar with the Christian way of life and are helped by the example and support of sponsors, godparents, and the entire Christian community, the catechumens learn to turn more readily to God in prayer, to bear witness to the faith, in all things to keep their hopes set on Christ, to follow supernatural inspiration in their deeds, and to practice love of neighbor, even at the cost of self renunciation. 16

17 75/2 Thus formed, the newly converted set out on a spiritual journey. Already sharing through faith in the mystery of Christ s death and resurrection, they pass from the old to a new nature made perfect in Christ [cf. Col. 3:5-10; Eph. 4:20-24]. Since this transition brings with it a progressive change of outlook and conduct, it should become manifest by means of its social consequences and it should develop gradually during the period of the catechumenate. 17

18 75/2 Since the Lord in whom they believe is a sign of contradiction [cf. Luke 2:34; Matt. 10:34-39], the newly converted often experience divisions and separations, but they also taste the joy that God gives without measure [cf. 1 Thess. 1:6] (Ad gentes 13). 18

19 Apostolic Tradition If a catechumen is arrested for the name of the Lord, he is not to be double-minded concerning the testimony. For if it happens and they act violently against him and kill him during the forgiveness of his sins, he will be justified, for he received baptism in his own blood (Sahidic, 19:1-2). 19

20 Testamentum Domini If anyone, being a catechumen, is apprehended for my name and be judged with tortures, and hastens and presses forward to receive the laver, let the shepherd not hesitate, but let him give [it] to him. But if he suffer violence and be killed, not having received the laver, let him not be anxious. For having been baptized in his own blood, [he is] justified (2.5). 20

21 75/3 The Church, like a mother, helps the catechumens on their journey by means of suitable liturgical rites, which purify the catechumens little by little and strengthen them with God s blessing. 21

22 75/3 Celebrations of the word of God are arranged for their benefit, and at Mass they may also take part with the faithful in the liturgy of the word, thus better preparing themselves for their eventual participation in the liturgy of the eucharist. 22

23 75/3 Ordinarily, however, when they are present in the assembly of the faithful they should be kindly dismissed before the liturgy of the eucharist begins (unless their dismissal would present practical or pastoral problems). For they must await their baptism, which will join them to God s priestly people and empower them to participate in Christ s new worship. 23

24 81 During the period of the catechumenate there should be celebrations of the word of God that accord with the liturgical season and that contribute to the instruction of the catechumens and the needs of the community. These celebrations of the word are: first, celebrations held specially for the catechumens; second, participation in the liturgy of the word at the Sunday Mass; third, celebrations held in connection with catechetical instruction. 24

25 82 The special celebrations of the word of God arranged for the benefit of the catechumens have as their main purpose: 1. to implant in their hearts the teachings they are receiving: for example, the morality characteristic of the New Testament, the forgiving of injuries and insults, a sense of sin and repentance, the duties Christians must carry out in the world; 25

26 82 2. to give them instruction and experience in the different aspects and ways of prayer; 3. to explain to them the signs, celebrations, and seasons of the liturgy; 4. to prepare them gradually to enter the worship assembly of the entire community. 26

27 83 From the very beginning of the period of the catechumenate the catechumens should be taught to keep holy the Lord s Day. 1. Care should be taken that some of the special celebrations of the word just mentioned (no. 82) are held on Sunday, so that the catechumens will become accustomed to taking an active and practiced part in these celebrations. 27

28 83 2. Gradually the catechumens should be admitted to the first part of the celebration of the Sunday Mass. After the liturgy of the word they should, if possible, be dismissed, but an intention for them is included in the general intercessions. 28

29 84 Celebrations of the word may also be held in connection with catechetical or instructional meetings of the catechumens, so that these will occur in a context of prayer. 29

30 Structural model [not in the editio typica] 86 Song 87 Readings (chosen for their relevance, proclaimed by a baptized member of the community) 88 Homily (on the readings) 89 Concluding Rites (exorcism and/or blessing, anointing may replace exorcism and be followed by a blessing) 30

31 Anointing 98 During the period of the catechumenate, a rite of anointing the catechumens, through use of the oil of catechumens, may be celebrated wherever this seems beneficial or desirable. The presiding celebrant for such a first anointing of the catechumens is a priest or a deacon. 31

32 Anointing 98 The anointing ordinarily takes place after the homily in a celebration of the word of God (see no. 89), and is conferred on each of the catechumens; this rite of anointing may be celebrated several times during the course of the catechumenate. Further, for particular reasons, a priest or a deacon may confer the anointing privately on individual catechumens. 32

33 75/4 Since the Church s life is apostolic, catechumens should also learn how to work actively with others to spread the Gospel and build up the Church by the witness of their lives and by professing their faith. 33

34 Activities Parish organizations Community outreach Spreading the gospel Building up of the church 34

35 Jerry Galipeau Apprenticed to Christ: Activities for Practicing the Catholic Way of Life Ideas coming from the lectionary themes 35

36 Acknowledging what is there Family life Employment School Neighborhood Seeing all this as an expression of discipleship 36

37 Catechesis 75/1 A suitable catechesis is provided - Κατηχηση 75/2 They become familiar with the Christian way of life - Κοινονια 75/3 Suitable liturgical rites purify and strengthen them - Λειτυργια 75/4 Catechumens spread the gospel - Διακονια 37

38 A brief word about Purification and Enlightenment Mystagogy

39 Rites for Children Part II/1 Acceptance Optional enrollment (election) Penitential Rites (scrutiny) Initiation (with preparation rites) Mystagogy 39

40 INITIATION OF CHILDREN OF CATECHETICAL AGE 252: This section is intended for children, not baptized as infants, who have attained the use of reason and are of catechetical age. 253: Initiation requires both a conversion that is personal and somewhat developed, in proportion to their age, and the assistance of the education they need. 40

41 PREPARATION 254/1: They may be prepared with a group of children of the same age who are already baptized and are preparing for confirmation and eucharist. 256: It is preferable that the final preparation coincide with Lent and that the sacraments of initiation take place at the Easter Vigil. If possible they should come to the sacraments of initiation at the time that their baptized companions are to receive confirmation or eucharist. 41

42 NS 19 Some elements of the ordinary catechetical instruction of baptized children before their reception of the sacraments of confirmation and eucharist may be appropriately shared with catechumens of catechetical age. Their condition and status as catechumens, however, should not be compromised or confused, nor should they receive the sacraments of initiation in any sequence other than that determined in the ritual of Christian Initiation. 42

43 PENITENTIAL RITES (SCRUTINIES) 293: These penitential rites are a proper occasion for baptized children of the catechetical group to celebrate the sacrament of penance for the first time. 43

44 Children What is prescribed in the canons on the baptism of an adult is applicable to all who are no longer infants but have attained the use of reason. CCL 852/1 44

45 Adults and Children The priest confirms a person he baptizes who is no longer an infant or one already baptized whom he admits into the full communion of the Catholic Church CCL 883/2 A presbyter who has this faculty must use it for those in whose favor the faculty was granted CCL 885/2 45

46 Initiation, Maturity, Transfer Deferred Confirmation Baptism of Adults Emergency Baptism Eastern Rites Rite of Reception

47 Constant Meanings Gift of the Holy Spirit For the purpose of bearing witness

48 RCIA 215 In accord with the ancient practice followed in the Roman liturgy, adults are not to be baptized without receiving confirmation immediately afterward, unless some serious reason stands in the way. The conjunction of the two celebrations signifies the unity of the paschal mystery, the close link between the mission of the Son and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and the connection between the two sacraments through which the Son and the Holy Spirit come with the Father to those who are baptized.

49 Catechism 1285 Baptism, the Eucharist, and the sacrament of Confirmation together constitute the sacraments of Christian initiation, whose unity must be safeguarded. It must be explained to the faithful that the reception of the sacrament of Confirmation is necessary for the completion of baptismal grace.

50 Catechism 1285 (cont.) For by the sacrament of Confirmation, [the baptized] are more perfectly bound to the Church and are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit. Hence they are, as true witnesses of Christ, more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith by word and deed [LG 11].

51 Catechism 1308 Although Confirmation is sometimes called the sacrament of Christian maturity, we must not confuse adult faith with the adult age of natural growth, nor forget that the baptismal grace is a grace of free, unmerited election and does not need ratification to become effective.

52 Code of Canon Law 879 The sacrament of confirmation strengthens the baptized and obliges them more firmly to be witnesses of Christ by word and deed and to spread and defend the faith. It imprints a character, enriches by the gift of the Holy Spirit the baptized continuing on the path of Christian initiation, and binds them more perfectly to the Church.

53 Canon 889 Every baptized person not yet confirmed and only such a person is capable of receiving confirmation. To receive confirmation licitly outside the danger of death requires that a person who has the use of reason be suitably instructed, properly disposed, and able to renew the baptismal promises.

54 Canon 890 The faithful are obliged to receive this sacrament at the proper time. Parents and pastors of souls, especially pastors of parishes, are to take care that the faithful are properly instructed to receive the sacrament and come to it at the appropriate time.

55 Canon 891 The sacrament of confirmation is to be conferred on the faithful at about the age of discretion unless the conference of bishops has determined another age, or there is danger of death, or in the judgment of the minister a grave cause suggests otherwise.

56 Complementary Norm The National Conference of Catholic Bishops, in accord with the prescriptions of canon 891, hereby decrees that the Sacrament of Confirmation in the Latin Rite shall be conferred between the age of discretion and about sixteen years of age, within the limits determined by the diocesan bishop and with regard for the legitimate exceptions given in canon 891.

57 Meanings Initiation and the paschal mystery Completion of baptismal grace Becoming more perfectly bound to Christ and the Church Being enriched by grace of the Holy Spirit Becoming witnesses who spread and defend the faith by word and deed

58 What is not here Becoming a Catholic Personally accepting my faith Ratifying a commitment to the Church

59 INITIATION 308: Baptized children of the catechetical group may be completing their Christian initiation in the sacraments of confirmation and the eucharist at this same celebration. When the bishop himself will not be the celebrant, he should grant the faculty to confirm such children to the priest who will be the celebrant. 59

60 DURING COMMUNION 329: The celebrant should also pay attention to any previously baptized children of the catechetical group who at this celebration are to receive communion for the first time. 60

61 Unbaptized teens and children May be included in the preparation of their peers, but need something special Perhaps receive the 3 sacraments of initiation at the Easter Vigil of their second year of formation Special formation separate from adults Celebration of rites with adults, including Easter Vigil 61

62 The Reception of Children If the child is below the age of reason, a juridic act replaces the liturgical rites, and confirmation and communion follow later E.g., parents or guardians make a declaration in the presence of the pastor or his delegate, and reception is noted in parish register 62

63 "The model for all catechesis is the baptismal catechumenate when, by specific formation, an adult converted to belief is brought to explicit profession of baptismal faith during the Paschal Vigil". (1977 Synod, Message to the People of God 8) This catechumenal formation should inspire the other forms of catechesis in both their objectives and in their dynamism GDC 59

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