Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA)
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is a return to the way early Christian communities welcomed new members into their faith. This faith journey is not undertaken alone; you are accompanied by a sponsor and the entire parish faith community. RCIA is a powerful sign to those who are already members of the church that the Spirit of God is working in and through all people.
The Rite of Christian Initiation (RCIA) begins when a person, after hearing of the mystery of Christ, begins to consciously and freely seek out the living God and enter the way of faith and conversion as the Holy Spirit opens one’s heart. Through God’s help and with the assistance of the community, one is strengthened spiritually during a period of preparation. When the time is right, the sacraments of initiation are received.
RCIA includes more than a simple celebration of the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist (Communion). There are also specific rites or rituals that belong to the Catechumenate.
Rites for the catechumen (a person who has not yet received Christian baptism) and baptized persons who have not been educated in the faith are celebrated together. The reception of baptized Christians into full communion with the Church and the celebration of Christian Initiation into the Church by those previously baptized usually takes place at the Easter Vigil.
The initiation of catechumens is a gradual process. All members of the church join the catechumens in reflecting on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, and by joining with the catechumens on this journey the church recalls and shares their own stories of conversion.
If you want to learn more about the Catholic Church, prepare for initiation into the Catholic Church through Baptism, or receive First Communion as an adult, RCIA is the process to investigate.