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"For where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst of them." – Matthew 18:20

A journey of faith that takes as long as it takes!

Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA)


Rite of Election 2016

The Office of Christian Formation will be coordinating the Rite of Election this year with support from the Office of Worship.

The Rite of Election is in four locations. (RCIA 122,125,129). In order to preserve the dignity of the celebration of the Rite of Election, we will limit the number of catechumens to approximately 80. The liturgies will be celebrated outside of Mass. This is the plan the Rite of Election 2016:

  • Saturday, February 20, 2016 at 2:00 pm
    Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Richmond
    Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo
    LPA’s 5, 6, 8, 9

  • Sunday, February 21, 2016 at 2:00 pm
    Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Richmond
    Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo
    LPA’s 10, 11, 12, 13

  • Saturday, February 20, 2016 at 10:00 am
    Blessed Sacrament, Norfolk
    Msgr. Francis Muench
    LPA’s 1, 4, 7

  • Saturday, February 20, 2016 at 2:00 pm
    Saint Gregory the Great, Virginia Beach
    Msgr. Walter Barrett
    LPA’s 2, 3

  • Sunday, February 21, 2016 at 3:00 pm
    Saint Andrew, Roanoke
    Msgr. Mark R. Lane
    LPA’s 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19

If at all possible, we as that you celebrate with your LPA.  In case of inclement weather, the Bishop will delegate the celebration of the Rite of Election to the pastors.  The weather decision wil be made Thursday, February 18, 2016 at noon.

Letter from Bishop DiLorenzo

The Rite of Election celebrates God's call to the catechumens approaching the Easter Sacraments and their acceptance of it; the Church confirms their election by God while the Christian community affirms the work of God in its midst (RCIA, no. 118). We invite the catechumens (adults and children) and their godparents, and the RCIA teams and pastors, to participate in the Rite of Election celebration. Registration is now open. Deadline to register is January 30, 2016. If you need information about the Rite of Election, please contact Katie McMaster at (804) 622-5149. If you need assistance with registration, please contact Nina Henry at 622-5158.


The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is the normal way for unbaptized persons and those who have been baptized in another Christian tradition to become a Catholic, through a process of discerning and ritualizing the stages of gradual conversion.  The rite of Christian initiation is designed for adults (and children of catechetical age) who, after hearing the mystery of Christ proclaimed, consciously and freely seek the living God and enter the way of faith and conversion as the Holy Spirit opens their hearts. By God's help they will be strengthened spiritually during their preparation and at the proper time will receive the sacraments fruitfully. (RCIA Introduction 1)

For the Unbaptized, the RCIA gradually uncovers the story of God’s salvation for all; the mystery of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection; and the workings of the Holy Spirit as revealed in the beliefs, sacramental life and spiritual practices of the Catholic Church. The initiation of catechumens is a gradual process that takes place within the community of the faithful and in accordance with the Church’s liturgical year. Together with the catechumens, the faithful reflect upon the value of the paschal mystery, renew their own conversion, and by their example lead the catechumens to obey the Holy Spirit more generously. (#4) 

For Baptized Christians who seek full communion with the Catholic Church, the RCIA includes rites and pastoral practice. (RCIA Part II: sections 4 and 5).

For Baptized Catholics who have received no other faith formation and have not received the sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist, the RCIA mentions pastoral practices to become a fully initiated Catholic (RCIA Part II, section 4).

Sorting It All Out: Children and Adults in the Initiation Process
To help you recognize who is who, what process is needed, who does what, and where is it recorded, read the stories and scenarios that follow. More

Stages and Rituals for Unbaptized Adults
There are four stages as well as rituals that mark these stages for unbaptized persons.  What follows outlines these, which are supplemented by numerous minor rites and possibilities. More

Templates & Tools for Liturgical Rites
To assist all who coordinate and plan RCIA liturgical rites, we are offering templates of many of the rites for you to adapt and use, as well as tools for their preparation and implementation.  More will be added as they are developed.

First Liturgical Rites: (After Inquiry)
                 Chart for Choosing the Right Rite (PDF)
 Read First! General Instructions for Celebrating First Liturgical Rites (PDF)
                 Rite of Acceptance (RA) into Order of Catechumens (Word)
                   • RA Bulletin Inserts & Pulpit Announcements (Word)
                   • RA Worship Aid Template (Word)
                 Rite of Welcoming (RW) the Candidates (Word)
                   • RW Bulletin Inserts & Pulpit Announcements (Word)
                   • RW Worship Aid Template (Word)
                 Combined Rites Of Acceptance And Welcoming  (Word)
                   • CR Bulletin Inserts & Pulpit Announcements (Word)
                   • CR Worship Aid Template (Word)
Second Liturgical Rites: (At end of Catechumenate)
                 Instructions for Rite of Sending and Rite of Election (PDF)
                 Rite of Sending (Word)
                 Call to Continuing Conversion  - Optional parish rite for Candidates (Word)
                 Appropriate Dates for Initiation Rites Year C (Word)
Don't Miss This! Rite of Election Tutorial (PowerPoint*)

*Click here for a free PowerPoint viewer if you do not have Microsoft PowerPoint.

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