Rite of Welcoming and Acceptance
The first Rite is the Rite of Welcoming and Acceptance. These Rites, which are typically celebrated in a combined ceremony in the presence of the community, mark the end of the Period of Evangelization and the beginning of the Catechumenate.
For those who have not been baptized, this rite declares their desire to learn more about the Catholic Faith and intent to be baptized into the Faith Community. The community accepts them and they are considered catechumens.
For those who have been baptized and are seeking confirmation and Eucharist, this rite acknowledges them as members of the Faithful by virtue of the baptism. The community welcomes them as candidates for Confirmation.
Rite of Sending
The Rite of Sending is celebrated either the week before or the day of the Rite of Election. In this rite the Catechumens and Candidates are brought before their faith community where their sponsors affirm their desire to join with the Church. The community then offers their blessing and prayers as they send the participants to go before the Bishop in the Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion.
Rite of Election and the Call to Continuing Conversion
These rites mark the end of the Catechumenate and the beginning of the Period of Purification and Enlightenment. Celebrated on the First Sunday of Lent, these rites take place at a predetermined location where the participants are presented to the Bishop.
For the Catechumens, the Bishop greets them and then signs the Book of the Elect. Upon hearing their sponsors' affirmation, the Bishop acknowledges them as the Elect of God and gives them his blessing to continue the process towards full initiation into the Church.
For Candidates, the Bishop also greets them and their sponsors affirm them as well. Upon hearing this, the Bishop invites the Candidates to join with the Church in a spirit of repentance and to hear the Lord's call to Continuing Conversion.
The Penitential Rite and The Scrutinies
The Penitential Rite is celebrated on the 2nd Sunday of Lent and is for Candidates only.
The Scrutinies are celebrated on the 3rd, 4th and 5th Sundays of Lent and are for the Elect. There is one scrutiny for each sacrament the members of the Elect seek: Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist.
All celebrations are to assist the participants in their Lenten journey towards purification and enlightenment.
Rite of Christian Initiation
The Rite of Christian Initiation occurs at the Easter Vigil, which is the most Holy and solemn celebrations of our Catholic Faith. At this celebration, the Elect are baptized and all participants are confirmed and receive First Holy Communion.
After this, they are considered Neophytes for the first year as fully initiated Catholics. We strive to continue to provide ongoing formation and community support throughout this first year.