Thursday, July 28, 2016

Asking for Your Take on the State of the RCIA

So grateful to all of you who entered the various discussions about cantors and music during communion this week. Two words: practice varies.

I was saddened by some of the comments from musicians who lamented the fact that sometimes they are simply forgotten at communion time, with no one coming to them to give them the Body and Blood of Christ. This is a practice that needs to change.

Yesterday, I spent the day with initiation ministers from around the country (and one from Canada), discussing plans for an LTP-sponsored gathering of initiation ministers that they plan to hold next year here in the Chicago area. It was wonderful interacting with initiation pioneers and newbies alike. Some of these folks are people I have worked with in Christian initiation leadership since the late 1980's. I strongly felt the presence of Christiane Brusselmans and Jim Dunning, the two prophets who set the course for the implementation of the Rite in North America.

Here's a photo taken of the group at the end of our deliberations yesterday.

Kudos to LTP for bringing this group together and to the ACTA Foundation for its support.

One of the issues discussed was a general feeling of a recent spark in interest in the implementation of the RCIA; that in too many places the RCIA has lost its originating vision and people are looking for a re-grounding in the Church's actual vision of the Rite. In too many places, the Rite has morphed into nothing more than a course in Catholic teaching leading to the celebration of the sacraments, with the initiation sacraments being seen as some kind of "graduation" at the end of the course. And there is a sense that leaders are beginning to think that this is the wrong direction for the RCIA.

My questions to you: In your own parish experience, how close to the center of parish life is the RCIA? Do you celebrate the rites? With vigor? Mechanically? Something to "get through?" Do you sense a re-invigoration of the RCIA in your parish or (arch)diocese?

So interested in hearing from you. You can respond here or over at Gotta Sing Gotta Pray's Facebook page.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.


Anonymous said...

I have been blessed to be trained by a liturgist and a pastor who loved celebrating the Rites. Our parish participates well with the Rites: choir does the music; extra instruments have been added in the past; Catechumens/Candidates are visible and approachable during the Rite and after Mass. The problem that we have had in our town is that the "other" parish doesn't hold RCIA at top priority. We work collaboratively and we have been "bumped" for things like a blood drive when we are all at their parish. Our diocese could do a better job at stressing the priority of RCIA in each parish. I agree with you when you say that RCIA has turned into a course in Catholic education. More accountability is needed from those pastors. So very sad!!

Debbie said...

Our parish celebrates RCIA well thanks to a pastor who believes in the process, a coordinator who has been shaped and formed by knowledgeable and faithful ministers and our parish community who has grown in their understanding that our baptism calls us to initiate. We celebrate all the Rites and liturgies well and continue to seek opportunities to be shaped and formed in the RCIA. Our road block seems to come with leadership in the Archdiocese - they are promoting and offering a workshop on 'RCIC'....and we wonder why we get disheartened.