ST LUKES RITE OF CHRISTIAN INITIATION OF ADULTS (RCIA)
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults is a time of prayer, preparation, celebration and welcome into the Catholic Church.
If you wish to speak to the parish priest Fr John please do not hesitate to call him on 01733 370877 or click here to email him
Learn more about becoming a Catholic - RCIA - Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults
Wishing to become a Catholic is a big decision. The Roman Catholic Faith uses the teachings of Jesus Christ. RCIA or Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults is a process designed for adults who want to be Catholic.
Thousands of people convert to Catholicism. They convert for various reasons. To become Catholic, you don’t have to be any particular age. People can convert at any age and time during their life.
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults or RCIA is a time of preparation. The process is a gradual one, it offers a series of sessions to help prepare people to be welcomed as full members of the Catholic Church.
The RCIA sessions will be held every week, during which you will learn the fundamentals of the Catholic Faith. As you learn, you will see there is much to know about being a Catholic.
During this time you are welcome to come along and join us at St Luke's for all our celebrations. Sunday Mass is at 6pm each Saturday and 11am each Sunday in St Lukes and at 9.15am at St Benedicts Community in Sawtry (we meet for Mass in the Womens Institute Hall in Gidding Road). If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me, Fr John Warrington at St Luke's on 01733 370877 or click here to email
RCIA consists of five phases:
The Period of Inquiry – This is when people can ask questions to get an idea about the Catholic Faith. They learn about scriptures and Jesus Christ. This period takes as long as it needs to.
Period of the Catechumenate – For this phase to begin, people need to accept Jesus Christ as their Saviour. They further their commitment to the faith. They reflect more deeply, about how Catholicism will affect their lives. This phase also lasts as long as it needs to for individuals.
Period of Purification or Illumination – This period corresponds with the time of Lent. It is the six-week preparation time for Easter. It becomes the praying time for those who are to become Catholic, known as the Elect. The period is begun by the Rite of Election, which is celebrated in our Cathedral in Norwich on the First Sunday of Lent with our Diocesan Bishop, Bishop Michael Evans. This rite accepts those accepted as candidates for the Sacraments, representing the fact that this decision is not theirs alone. Special prayers are offered to support the Elect.
During the weeks following the Rite of Election, during the weeks of Lent, purification, enlightenment, sin, and grace become the focus; All of us don’t have to look far into our conscience to know that we are sinners - that we get things wrong sometimes and need love and forgiveness. Sometime this concerns us and we can worry, but there is no need to, as that is where God’s saving grace is to be found, enlightenment of the soul. The light illuminates the darkness. The opportunity for us to seek forgiveness from the Lord is found in the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) There will be plenty of time for you to discuss this and to have questions answered. Our God is a forgiving Father. He has experienced being human through His son Jesus. He has sacrificed His only Son for the forgiveness of our sins. In the Sacrament of Reconciliation we are given a chance to seek forgiveness, renew our broken relationship with God and to repent or change what was sinful and walk in the footsteps of Jesus. The rites you will experience during this period of the RCIA are the penitential rite, for candidates, the anointing of the catechumens, the scrutinies, the rite of exorcism, and the presentations.
The anointing of the catechumens can take place at any time during the catechumenate period including the period of purification and enlightenment. It may also be celebrated several times if needed or preferred. In St Luke's this celebration will take place before the first scrutiny. This anointing will help strengthen the catechumen with Gods grace during this intense period of examination. The scrutinies are celebrated on the third, fourth, and fifth Sunday of Lent. The readings for these scrutinies are from the cycle year A. The Samaritan woman is read on the third Sunday, the man born blind is read on the fourth Sunday, and the story of Lazarus is read on the fifth Sunday.
The presentations of the Creed and the Lords Prayer usually take place after the Scrutinies. These ancient texts express the beliefs we hold true as Catholic Christians. We are handing on our tradition to those who are going to be reborn through the water and the spirit. This period ends on Holy Saturday night as you are initiated fully into the Catholic Church and into the Body of Christ.
Celebrating the Sacraments of Initiation – The Sacraments of Initiation are celebrated at the Easter Vigil. The Easter Vigil is an extended night watch of prayer, singing, and hearing the Word of God. By the waters of baptism, a person passes into the new life of grace and becomes a member of the Body of Christ. Those who are all ready baptized, have the Sacrament of the Reconciliation prior, are given Holy Communion, and are confirmed. Anointing with Holy Oil called Chrism seals the initiation by the power of the Holy Spirit and participation at the Table of the Lord in the Eucharist marks full membership in the church.
The Period of Mystagogy – This period lasts from Easter Sunday until the completion of the Easter season. That is fifty days later on Pentecost Sunday and completes the initiation process. Those who have just shared in the sacraments of initiation are now called Neophytes and during this period of Easter joy they reflect on what they have just gone through and look to the future as to how they can now share in the mission of Christ who came to bring salvation and life to the whole world. This period reminds the whole church that life in Christ constantly calls us to grow and to look for new ways to live the life of grace, personally and together.
If you were already baptized, you probably won’t need to be baptized again. You will need to the Sacraments Reconciliation, Holy Communion, and Confirmation.