The RCIA often involves different groups of persons in a parish, each of which has a unique set of liturgical, pastoral, and catechetical needs. The following is a summary of these items. For additional information, please contact the Office of Liturgy, Chancery, or the Catechumenate Office.
The unbaptized adult or older adolescent
After an appropriate pastoral formation in the catechumenate lasting at least one full liturgical year, the catechumen is admitted to all three sacraments of initiation at the Easter Vigil. The parish priest is the presiding minister. No delegation is required.
The unbaptized child of catechetical age seeking baptism
These children should undergo a period of formation at a level adapted to their age and faith development. This formation is usually at least one full year, but may be longer, depending on the development of the child. As long as the liturgical rites of the catechumenate are prepared for and celebrated, catechesis can take place in the context of the parish religious education program. Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist are celebrated together at the Easter Vigil. The parish priest is the presiding minister. No delegation is required.
The validly baptized non-Catholic who is uncatechized
After an appropriate pastoral formation adapted to their needs, Confirmation and Eucharist are celebrated together during the Easter Season, or whenever the candidate is prepared to receive the sacraments. At that time, the candidate is received into full communion, and completes initiation. While not preferred, the celebration of Reception into Full Communion may take place at the Easter Vigil for pastoral reasons. The parish priest is the presiding minister. No delegation is required.
The adult or older adolescent, baptized Catholic who is uncatechized
After an appropriate pastoral formation, Confirmation and Eucharist can be celebrated together during the Easter Season, or whenever the candidate is prepared to receive the sacraments. If the preparation takes place as part of the parish catechumenate, the candidate may receive these sacraments at the Easter Vigil, although this is not preferred. The parish priest is the presiding minister. For those who have fully participated in the process and catechesis of the RCIA or its equivalent, pastors, administrators, and any priest that a pastor or administrator sub-delegates may confirm when the celebration of Confirmation takes place at a liturgy during the Easter season. To confirm at any other time, delegation must be requested in writing from the Chancery.
The adult or older adolescent, baptized non-Catholic, who is catechized in their faith
Pastoral formation should include both doctrinal and spiritual preparation for reception into full communion. The length of preparation is determined by the amount of formation needed. Preparation need not necessarily be a part of the catechumenate process. Candidates may be received into the Church and receive the Sacraments of Holy Communion and Confirmation at any Sunday Eucharist throughout the year, although the Easter season is an especially appropriate time. The parish priest is the presiding minister. No delegation is required.