RCIACourse Level: Advanced

Course Summary

The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) has been around for many years and undergone some changes that include rites for children as well. The stages of the rites call for in depth reflection as either converts or candidates for full communion come to a greater understanding of the riches and the beauty of the Catholic faith. This course is designed for RCIA leaders and catechists who assist them. Knowledge of the books of The Rites is expected in order to participate in this course. It is recommended that you check with your pastor or catechetical leader and seek permission to borrow The Rites (Volume 1) as you go through this course as many references are made to it. All liturgical rites for RCIA as stated in this course are taken from The Rites, the official liturgical books of the Catholic Church. There are instances when rites may be merged and other instances where rites must be separated. Care must be taken to differentiate between these rites as they bring exceptional meaning to those preparing to be initiated into the Catholic Church.  

Successful completion of this course earns 2.5 CEU's. Click here for more information about CEU's.

General Course Objectives

  • Preparing the grounds where and how to begin the process
  • Perceiving and projecting the concept of RCIA as a community involved process.
  • Taking a critical look at the various stages and liturgical rites
  • Tools for shaping and forming RCIA team

Course Materials

  • Required Book: Thomas H. Morris The RCIA: Transforming the Church: A Resource for Pastoral Implementation Paulist Press: New York; Mahwah, N.J. (Rev and Updated ed.December 1, 1997). ISBN: ISBN-10: 0809137585; ISBN-13: 978-0809137589

Course Structure and Highlights

  • Week 1: What is RCIA? How to prepare a team for RCIA. Where to start?
  • Week 2: The Stages of RCIA, Forms, Liturgical Rites
    • Invitation Inviting prospective catechumens and candidates
    • Documents Checking documents needed (prepare for the unforeseen)
    • Pastoral Issues Retrieving documents, validity of documents, annulments
    • Ritual Celebrations Counting on the Affective domain
  • Week 3: Closer Look at Rites, Combined Rites and Rites that should be Separated
    • The importance of rites and rituals
    • Preparation for the rites
    • Adapting the rites for children
    • Placing the rites within the bigger picture
  • Week 4: Holy Week and Easter Vigil
    • Know the rites in preparation for Easter
    • Prepare sufficiently for the Paschal Triduum
    • Perceive Easter Vigil as the door to new life
  • Week 5: Immersion into parish, Yearly Follow Up, Evaluation
    • Assisting assimilation into parish life
    • The importance of ongoing catechesis
    • Living as Everyday Catholics
    • Planning Ahead