The Rite of Acceptance and Welcome was celebrated at Saint Patrick Catholic Church on November 18, 2018. In the months to come, the Catechumens and Candidates will be preparing for full initiation into the Catholic faith through Baptism, Eucharist, and Confirmation.
What is the Rite of Acceptance & Welcoming?
The Rite of Acceptance is an ancient Rite that recognizes the Catechumens decision to begin the process of becoming a member of the Catholic Church through Baptism and welcomes the Candidates, those who have been baptized in another faith or baptized Catholic as a child, but never catechized in the Catholic faith, into the process of full communion with the Church.
The First Threshold Rite
It is the first of the “threshold rites” of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA), and the first public ritual. In the Rite of Acceptance, a change of identity takes place: those previously known as inquirers become catechumens. They are officially welcomed by the Church as disciples, members (albeit not yet full members) of the household of faith. The text calls this rite “the first consecration by the Church” of those seeking Christian initiation. They are literally marked with the cross of Christ as God’s own.
At the start of Mass, the priest welcomes the Catechumens and Candidates into the Church at the actual church doors and introduces them to the community. After the homily, they are anointed by the priest, and their senses are blessed by their sponsors after which they received a special Celtic cross as a sign of recognition. The community is invited to support the Catechuments and Candidates on their journey.
For all of these, we give thanks and praise to God who has led them by various paths to oneness in faithexcerpted from the Rite of Acceptance
Kim Ward, Pastoral Associate for Faith Formation