Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA)
Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is the usual way in which adults and teens who are not Catholic become members of the Catholic Church. This spiritual journey of inquiry continues until Easter Saturday evening, when the catechumens and candidates are welcomed into the Catholic Church through the sacraments of Baptism, Eucharist and Confirmation.
Are you interested in learning more about the Catholic faith or beginning the process to become Catholic? Consider the RCIA process. The RCIA process has several distinct stages. These Catholic RCIA stages are a good model of faith development itself.
- Inquiry: The initial period before you decide to enter the Catholic Church. You’re asking questions and checking it out, but aren’t yet ready to commit.
- Catechumenate: Those who decide to enter the Church and are being trained for a life in Christ are called catechumens, an ancient name from the early Church. In this stage, you’re developing your faith and are being “catechized” – learning catechism, or the basic points about Catholic faith and life.
- Purification and Preparation: The Church will help you focus and intensify your faith as you prepare to commit your life to Christ and be received into the Church at Easter. If you’re following the RCIA process, you’ll go through a beautiful series of Gospel-based meditations during Lent, which is the time frame of this period.
- Initiation: Theculmination of the whole process! You’re received into the Church during the Easter Vigil Mass, where you’ll receive the sacraments of initiation: baptism, confirmation, and Eucharist. (If you’ve already been baptized, you won’t be baptized again.)
- Mystagogy: After reception into the Church at Easter, this period lets you reflect and learn more about the mysteries of the Mass and the Sacraments that you now participate in fully.