Rite of Acceptance and Welcome into the Order Of the Catechumens
The Rite begins at the entrance of the Church. The Inquirers, accompanied by their Sponsors, are greeted with joy and happiness by the Presider and will be introduced to the Assembly of the Faithful. This Rite is of the utmost importance and significance. The Inquirers are, for the first time, assembled during a liturgy after completing the period of the Precatechumenate. Here in this Rite, our Inquirers declare their intentions to the Church and the Church in return accepts them as persons desiring to continue their journey into the Catechumenate. This Rite is the first consecration by the Church in recognizing that the fundamentals of Christian teaching have taken root in these individuals. In this Rite, the Inquirers seek and gain the acceptance of the worshiping community. Some of the Inquirers who are unbaptized will publicly declare their intentions to continue their faith journey toward full initiation.
The Rite of Welcoming is for baptized inquirers who are seeking to become Candidates and become more enlightened to the teachings of the Catholic Faith. Through this Rite all are one step closer to God, Initiation and Full Communion. The Community promises to be with the Catechumens and Candidates on their journey and to pray for them as they walk further along their journey and into deeper study and more thoroughly profound teachings of the Catholic Church. The Rite of Acceptance and Welcome is a beautiful Reception of the Catechumens and Candidates with an equally beautiful Celebration of the Word.
Sponsors accompanying the former Inquirers during this Celebration perform a beautiful gesture of blessing and support. The Community witnesses the blessings and through their promises and prayers gives the Catechumens and Candidates a true feeling of support and love. Through their responses the Sponsors and Community state their firm belief in following Christ. After the Liturgy of the Word, the Catechumens and Candidates are dismissed to a meeting place where they will reflect more deeply upon the Word of God spoken and proclaimed during the Celebration with a strong encouragement of looking forward to the time when the Catechumens and Candidates will fully participate in the sharing of the Lord’s Table.