RCIA (Rite oF Christian initiation of adults)

The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is a process by which adults and children of catechetical age are initiated into the Catholic Church.

Marked by a series of rites and phases of formation, the Christian initiation of adults and older children reaches its highpoint with the celebration of the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist at the Easter Vigil.

This gradual process takes place in the community of the faithful, and varies according to the pastoral needs of the individual.

Adults and older children who are already baptized but are uncatechized may complete their initiation by participating in some aspects of this process.

Evangelization & Pre-CatechumenaTE

Also known as "inquiry", those who are not yet Christians are evangelized, beginning their conversion to Jesus Christ. Opportunities are provided for inquirers to meet other Christians and to hear the Gospel.

Rite of Acceptance into the order of catechumens

This rite marks the beginning of the catechumenate. Inquirers express and the Church accepts their intention to respond to God's call and to follow the way of Christ.


A time, lasting as long as each individual needs, for nurturing and growth of faith. Suitable catechesis is given, celebrations of the word and other blessings take place, and the catechumens become more familiar with the Christian way of life.

Rite of Election

As Lent begins, the bishop expresses the Church's "election" (choice) of the catechumens (now called "elect") who express their will to join the Church by enrolling their names in the Book of the Elect.
rite of election resources

Period of Purification & Enlightenment

During Lent, the elect participate in a 40-day "retreat" as final preparation for the Easter Sacraments, marked by rites and intense prayer and conversion.

Celebration of the Sacraments of initiation

The elect are initiated into the Church during the Easter Vigil through the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist.


During the Easter Season the newly-initiated reflect upon the mysteries of Christ and participate fully in the Sunday Eucharist.

To find catechetical resources for use in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, visit the Center for the New Evangelization.

If you are interested in learning more about becoming Catholic, contact your local parish or explore Catholicism here.

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