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RCIA Prayer in the Period of the Catechumenate

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Presentation on theme: "RCIA Prayer in the Period of the Catechumenate"— Presentation transcript:

1 RCIA Prayer in the Period of the Catechumenate
the RCIA first saw light of day in 1972…along with the Apostolic Exhortation on Evangelisation (ENuntiandi) – ‘Catechumenal process – - called for by the Fathers of the VII Council, to serve the needs of mission territories… I think no-one would disagree, this was a prophetic move… we find ourselves in mission territory.. JPII Continues: …’If evangelisation is a priority, then the catechumenate… or journey in faith… is essential… ‘described by Bishop Dingman as ‘the explosive BOMB that can alert the faith community to its potential for evangelisation I would love this to have been a leisurely session, more like a quite bicycle ride, noticing things… but its going to have to be more of a formula I grand prix.. ‘Fasten the seat belts’ sort of session. AS WE KNOW, In opening the Year of Faith – in his document ‘Porta Fidei – Pope Benedict urged again the need for new evangelisation – he describes it as a wonderful opportunity to help people re-discover the JOURNEY IN FAITH… This workshop: how we can move more deeply into this vision of church…. In a group of parishes, better together… rich resources to draw on… I have to let go of the vision of the church which I inherited… to discover with the people we live and share faith with, their vision… guided by the rite.. And the dynamics at play… you cant separate the elements at work.. The God-given freedom people have, and their choices.. Church we inherited from Trent – was dominated by darkness, fear, guilt… Trent had limitations.. It taught a catechism of content… rather than a catechesis of experience… holy spirit at work… We have to let go of all of this and be open… ‘See I am doing a new thing… do you not observe it…’ “Rediscover the journey in faith”

2 They have experienced: Evangelisation: pre-catechumenate
Beginning….to pray with scripture (RCIA 38) Drawn into mystery of God (RCIA 37) My story & God’s story .. Coming to know Jesus Relationship developing Sense of Church at prayer beginning of the spiritual life They have EXPERIENCED a pre-catechumenate… notice.. The word BEGINNING… drawn… developing… sense… beginning… Beginning to ….Find way around scripture Drawn into mystery of God… in all things, at work in creation, in history, in life of Christ and growth of church. Stories ‘connecting’… God beyond words… art/music/silence… space… (lots of non-verbal ways… gestures, postures, senses…symbols…) AND SENSE OF CHURCH at prayer…

3 Rite of Acceptance Rite of Election
Powerful experience of RoA – signed with the Cross – into the Catechumenate…. Highpoint… and a doorway… Symbol of the CROSS and the WORD at the centre…pointing ahead….imply that the same will be consdiered more seriously during the period of catechumenate… Next Ritual moment will be rite of election… (see next slide for Bishop’s Q’s)

4 Have they faithfully listened to God’s word proclaimed by the Church?
Bishop: God’s holy Church wishes to know whether these are sufficiently prepared to be enrolled among the elect for the coming celebration of Easter… Have they faithfully listened to God’s word proclaimed by the Church? Have they responded to that word and begun to walk in God’s presence? Have they shared the company of their Christian brothers and sisters and joined with them in prayer? This sets the way for us… to offer a process of ‘suitable pastoral formation’ in the Christian life… next slide ‘suitable pastoral formation’

5 Doors of grace What are your HOPES for those who enter the period of the Catechumenate? COMMUNITY OF PEOPLE BOUND TOGETHER BY GRACE…vision of Eucharistic Community… to which we are all drawn by grace… Holy Spirit draw people! Draws us! Draws enquirers… No-one must impede the action of the HS… FRANCIS has urged us to be PEOPLE OF HOPE (10) What are your HOPES for those who come…. Time to consciously begin thinking and planning: on basis of hope Think on your own… (2) share with your neighbour…(5) call out… chart the HOPES for those entering this period…(5)

6 HOPES of the Church: “Suitable pastoral formation and guidance aimed at training them in the Christian life…” (RCIA 75) PROFOUND sense of the mystery of salvation in which they desire to participate Example and support of entire Christian community… learn to turn more readily to God in prayer… to follow supernatural inspiration Church ‘like a mother’.. Suitable liturgical rites… led into life of faith and worship… Enlighten… direct the heart towards God… foster participation… inspire … nurture a life completely in accord with the spirit of Christ Presentations of the Creed and Lord’s Prayer may be anticipated Notice the descriptive words and the adverbs and the images here… Vision of Christ at centre… LIGHT.. Enlightening.. Drawing, nourishing… RELATIONSHIP (Mother/family) OUR family prayer – Our Father Our family creed – we believe… a prayer declaring our faith Presentations – often in Lent, but can be anticipated, and certainly, prepared for in this period….

7 Growth in personal relationship with God
Alone And with others… NOTICE… in all of this…. Intimacy… closeness… come closer… who do you say I am… Different views… treasure of sharing in relationship… Alone…and with others… connectivity… (insights from one another, enabled to enter… through the gifts of one another and the gifts of the Holy Spirit at work….)

8 Exercise: (1) Prayer for me is… (2) What do you want to offer catechumens/candidates? How?
For personal prayer …. Exercise: 2’s and 3’s – or small groups… What do you want to offer them… Personal Prayer … Prayer with others… With others

9 What opportunities have you come up with?
To help growth in personal prayer Growth through prayer together?

10 Celebrations of the Word
A closer look…. Very family to most… not so familiar to some perhaps…

11 Liturgy/Rites belonging to the period of the Catechumenate (RCIA 81 )
Celebrations of the Word of God – according to liturgical season Sunday – participation in the Liturgy of the Word at Mass Options (often at end of a Celeb.of Word) Minor Exorcisms – uncover and heal Blessings Blessings – sign of God’s love and church’s tender care Anointings – for opening to grace/strength/wisdom Presentations – ‘this is our faith’ - when they are ready Celebrations of Word -…. Rhythm of the season… mystery of Christ unfolds… this is who we are and what we believe and how we live… all contributes to ‘instruction’ of the catechumen… (RCIA 81)’AND THE NEEDS OF THE COMMUNITY’ too! Sunday – pulse beat at heart…. This is forming the habits of a disciple OPTIONS: Minor Exorcisms: (don’t be put off by the language – look at the prayers themselves) drawing to our attention what real nature of Christian life (RCIA 90)… openness to new life in the spirit… what has clouded our vision, or got in the way… what needs uncovering and healing… brought to the light…. RCIA 90 speaks of’ ‘recognising our unending needs for God’s help’ RCIA 95 – blessings sign of God’s love and of the Church’s tender care… receive from the Church COURAGE,JOY, PEACE .. as they proceed on the difficult journey they have begun…. Presentations: can be anticipated – can be a very fruitful exploration of relationship with God…family

12 Why bother? – the purposes of the Rites (See RCIA 82)
Special Celebrations of the Word of God: 1.To implant in their hearts the teachings they are receiving 2. to give them instruction and experience in the different aspects and ways of prayer 3. To explain to them the signs, celebrations and seasons of the liturgy 4. To prepare them gradually to enter the worship assembly of the entire community (morality characteristic of the New Testament, forgiving of injuries and insults, sense of sin and repentance, duties Christians must carry out in the world) ‘implant’ idea of planting seeds in experience… that will grow/flourish Idea of gradual preparation….. One step at a time… no rush… ‘Eternity, eternity’ So that a Catechetical session occurs in a context of prayer (84) RCIA 83 From the very beginning of the period of the catechumenate the catechumens should be taught to keep holy the Lord’s Day RCIA 84 Celebrations of the word held in the catechetical sessions – so that these will occur in a context of prayer

13 Your experience on your own first Share in 2’s and 3’s:
Recall a memorable experience of prayer in a ‘Celebration of the Word’ What was it that made it special? How did it touch you/nourish/sustain you? Share in 2’s and 3’s: What are the elements of a Celebration of the Word? Why is the experience of liturgical rites so important in the journey in faith? Catechesis is intrinsically bound to every liturgical and sacramental action GDC 30 (CT 23) Liturgical catechesis prepares for the sacraments by promoting a deeper understanding and experience of the liturgy. GDC 71

14 Gospel catechesis RCIA 47: The church nourishes them with the Word of God and sustains them by means of liturgical celebrations… the catechumens should be eager to take part in celebrations of the Word of God and receive blessings and other sacramentals Picking up on the experience of those gathered….. These are some of the things that liturgy achieves in us….and in those with us on the journey…. NOTICE the VERBS….. The liturgy nourishes…. Sustains…. Attracts… blesses… enlightens… directions the heart… fosters participation,… inspires… nurtures our response to life…

15 Catechising with the Word Together: Why bother?
I know in the presence of my brothers and sisters I have very often understood many things in the sacred text that I could not understand alone St Gregory (Homily on Ezekiel) Why bother to do it with other people? Written for communities – makes sense it will have something to say to us as communities… groups of people… called as a People to follow Christ, to be his body… need to work at habits that enable true community to emerge – like SLIDE… listening, commitment, honesty, tolerance, celebration of differences, willingness to change. Letting one another speak… … to have a shared conversation with the Word of God Share the treasure that comes from the biblical text together - Gospel contemplation or Group Lectio Divina.. Discover and talk together about the meaning of the Word of God as addressed to us as a community Have a leader - leader only responsible for providing some specialised info, but not to “tell the group what the text means”…This person helps introduce us to the world of that particular text - and lets the text/words speak for itself from its own horizon. No one person has all the answers - process of enquiry and discovery Helps Question: Who am I or who are we to interpret the Word of God? The answer is we are NOT interpreting the Word of God, it is the Word of God that is interpreting us! We are laying our lives open to the Word… human reflection on the Word is not above the Word… it causes us to reflect on ourselves… and where we are in relation to the Word… It is an ENCOUNTER with God… like Mary in the Garden… we must hear our name… God in the Garden of Eden cries out too, Where are you… not because God doesn’t know where we are, but because WE need to know where we are in relation to God. (Like the Seeker in Hide and Seek – Where are you? Over the course of a liturgical year the central message of Christ and the teaching voice of the Church emerges: we are encouraged to live what we experience in our hearts, recognising the Presence of Christ amongst us.

16 Presentation of the Lord’s Prayer (normally in Lent, but can be anticipated)
‘The church lovingly entrusts to them the Creed and the Lord’s Prayer, the ancient texts that have always been regarded as expressing the heart of the Church’s faith and prayer’. (134) ‘The Lord’s Prayer fills them with a deeper realisation of the new spirit of adoption by which they will call God their Father, especially in the midst of the eucharistic assembly’ (134) Can be anticipated (cos Lent is so short) – at the end of the period of catechumenate, when they are deemed READY (see 103) Creed = first presentation (preferably in Mass after homily) = recalls the wonderful deeds of God for the salvation of the hman race, ..the vision… the sure light of faith… usually during the week following the first scrutiny, so not in catechumenate… receive it in proclamation from the community, commit it to memory, and recite publicy for first time on day of Baptism (135) Lord’s Prayer = 2nd Presnetation – during week following 3rd Scrutiny (weekday Mass… with a community of faithful, or in a cat session)…. But can be anticipated… or left to Holy Saturday… RECEIVED THROUGH LISTENING – with special prayer over the Elect following From antiquity, the Lords Prayer has been the prayer proper to those who in baptism have received the spirit of adoption…. After Baptism, they will join the rest of the faithful in saying the Lord’s prayer.. (136) For uncatechised candidates.. Great opportunity.

17 thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. …………..
Our Father,………………………. who art in heaven, …………. hallowed be thy name; ….. thy kingdom come; ……….. thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. ………….. Give us this day our daily bread ………………………….. and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us;………………………………… and lead us not into temptation,………………… but deliver us from evil…… Listen to the gospel reading in which our Lord teaches his followers to pray: A reading from the Holy Gospel according to St Matthew: At that time Jesus said to his disciples: Say this when you pray….

18 We pray together: Almighty and eternal God
You continually enlarge the family of your Church. You have given us new birth in your living waters, for we are your adopted children. Deepen our faith and understanding as we journey together May we be open to all wisdom and courage as we live and share the gift of faith. Through Christ Jesus your Son. Amen As we go in peace, may the Lord remain with us always. Amen

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