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Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA)

«Those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God»
                          John 1:12

You can be God's child

Since the Second Vatican Council, the Catholic Church has re-established the adult catechumenate, that is, Christian Initiation. 

In this process, people who wish to become part of the family of the Catholic Church experience an encounter with Christ. This encounter fosters the process of conversion to free adherence to the person of Jesus and his mission.

It is an itinerary, which begins with the proclamation of the Gospel or kerygma, but which involves not only the person who lives this encounter and this itinerary, it has implications for the entire Christian community, that also encounters Him through the other.


The center of all this initiation is, moreover, the mystery of Jesus Christ and his resurrection.

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Some words you should know about Christian Initiation

Catechumen. Refers to the person who is preparing to be initiated into the mysteries of the Christian faith.

Kerygma. This Greek word means "announcement" and in the Catholic Church refers to the first announcement of the Gospel. 

Mystagogical catechesis. This refers to catechesis that explains the sacred mysteries, such as the mystery of the resurrection of Jesus or the sacraments.

Soteriological. A branch of theology that studies salvation.

Theology. Science that deals with God based on sacred texts, tradition and dogmas.

Effetá. This word means "to be open to the word and love of Jesus". It's related to the word Jesus spoke to a deaf man before healing him (Mark 7:31-37).

Stages of initiation


1. Precatechumenate. In this stage the kerygmatic announcement is given. In it, the Holy Spirit leads the person to the experience of faith, to the encounter with Jesus. 

2. Catechumenate. Encountering Jesus changes us, that is why in the catechumen there are signs such as the beginning of conversion, a change of life and an approach to prayer, as well as an approach to the community. From the rite of entrance into the catechumenate, which is a reception of the candidates who make a first adhesion to Christ, the person begins to be part of the family of Christ.
At this stage, emphasis is placed on the cate
chesis of the liturgy, dogmas and precepts, but also bringing the faith to life, as well as others, such as the election of godparents.


This second stage should be lived during Lent, in order to prepare the heart and spirit of the catechumens.

1. Election or ascription of the name. At this stage, the catechumens are chosen and approved by those who have accompanied them in their faith process, among others, their godparents. These catechumens are also called competent or enlightened, because they have received the light of faith. A celebration is held, usually on the first Sunday of Lent.

2. Triple scrutiny. This is a greater illumination (in the faith) and purification of the interior life that contributes to the catechumens' liberation from sin. The ritual examination is done on the 3rd, 4th and 5th Sundays of Lent. This stage concludes with the celebration before the Easter Vigil, with the rites of the recitation of the Symbol (Apostles Creed), of the Effetá (open) and the election of the Christian name.


The Sacraments. In this stage the catechumens receive the sacraments of initiation: Baptism, Communion and Confirmation and continue to deepen in the mystery of Jesus. Normally, these three sacraments are administrated during the Easter Vigil.

If you need to learn more about RCIA...

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