Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA)
Deacon Jim Tardy
402-558-0820 or 402-415-1272
RCIA is the ordinary process for non-baptized persons to enter the Catholic Church, and for those baptized in other Christian denominations who wish to make a profession of faith in the Catholic Church. Parishioners serve as parish sponsors and RCIA team members and assist catechumens and candidates in their journey into Catholicism. Classes run each year from mid-September through April (depending on the date of Easter).
What is the difference between RCIA and Profession of Faith?
The RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) is the principal, and preferred, process by which unbaptized adults are prepared and given formation for the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist) at the Easter Vigil. There are specific Rites by which the unbaptized candidates are recognized publicly during the course of their preparation/formation process. These are particularly visible during the season of Lent (First Sunday—rite of election, Third, Fourth and Fifth Sundays – the scrutinies).
By extension, already baptized Christians (i.e. validly baptized through immersion or the pouring of water and the invocation of the Persons of the Trinity) are permitted into the RCIA for preparation and formation as to a fuller sacramental life and a fuller doctrinal life orientation. Technically, the Rites addressed to the unbaptized do not include the already baptized Christians and the Easter Vigil Rites are not specifically meant for them. However, the already baptized are accommodated in the following way: after the baptism of the unbaptized at the Easter Vigil, the already baptized participants in the RCIA join with the assembly in the renewal of baptismal promises, and at the end of that renewal they add a single sentence “professing” their acceptance of all that the Catholic Church believes, teaches and practices. It is this moment which is captured by the term “Profession of Faith”.
It is this moment, within the Easter Vigil Rites for those who have never been baptized, which allow the already baptized Christians to “become one with the Catholic Church” and thus they are admitted to the sacrament of Confirmation and the reception of the Holy Eucharist along with the newly baptized. Together, these RCIA participants (some already baptized and other never before baptized) take their place in the Body of Christ –the Church, through the Sacraments of Initiation.