Period of Evangelization and Precatechumenate

This entire period (of no set time or fixed duration) is set aside for evangelization so that the genuine will to follow Christ may mature. (RCIA #37)

During this period, those involved in forming the catechumens and candidates are to give a suitable explanation of the Gospel and give them help and attention so that with a purified and clearer intention they may cooperate with God’s grace. (RCIA #38)

In so doing, those in charge of RCIA formation prepare the catechumens and candidates for the first major liturgical step in the Rite. This step marks their progress and ascension to the next level of maturation.

  • For the Unbaptized — Rite of Acceptance into the Order of Catechumens
  • For the Baptized — Rite of Welcoming Baptized but previously uncatechized adults who are preparing for Confirmation and/or Eucharist or Reception into the Full Communion of the Catholic Church

The prerequisite for making this first step is that the beginnings of the spiritual life and the fundamentals of Christian teaching have taken root. Thus there must be evidence of the first faith that was conceived during the period of evangelization… and of an initial conversion and intention to change their lives. (RCIA #42)

Before the rite is celebrated, therefore, sufficient and necessary time, as required in each case, should be set aside to evaluate and, if necessary, to purify the candidates’ motives and dispositions. (RCIA #43)

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