The rite of Christian Initiation of Adults is designed for adults who, after hearing the mystery of Christ proclaimed, consciously and freely seek the living God and enter the way of faith and conversion as the Holy Spirit opens their hearts. By God’s help they will be strengthened spiritually during their preparation and at the proper time will receive the sacraments fruitfully.
This rite includes not simply the celebration of the sacraments of baptism, confirmation, and Eucharist, but also all the rites belonging to the catechumenate. Endorsed by the ancient practice of the Church, a catechumenate that would be suited to contemporary missionary activity in all regions was so widely requested that the Second Vatican Council decreed its restoration, revision, and adaptation to local traditions.
Structure of the Initiation of Adults
The initiation of catechumens is a gradual process that takes place within the community of the faithful. By joining the catechumens in reflecting on the value of the paschal mystery and by renewing their own conversion, the faithful provide an example that will help the catechumens to obey the Holy Spirit more generously.
The rite of initiation is suited to a spiritual journey of adults that varies according to the many forms of God’s grace, the free cooperation of the individuals, the action of the Church, and the circumstances of time and place.
This journey includes not only the periods for making inquiry and for maturing, but also the steps marking the catechumens’ progress, as they pass, so to speak, through another doorway or ascend to the next level..
Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults: Introduction. ©1985, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. (ICEL).