KOTA KINABALU – Sacred Heart Cathedral Parish here received over a hundred inquirers into the Order of Catechumens over the weekend of the First Sunday of Advent, 26-27 Nov 2016.
Around 37 adults and children were accepted as catechumens through the Rite of Acceptance at the beginning of the Sunset Mass Nov 26 while another 150 were accepted at the beginning of the BM Mass Nov 27. A further 21 will be accepted at the beginning of the Chinese Mass Dec 4.
The Rite of Acceptance into the Order of Catechumens (Rite of Acceptance) is the first of the “threshold rites” of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA), and the first public liturgical ritual. In the Rite of Acceptance, a change of identity takes place: those previously known as inquirers become catechumens. They are officially welcomed by the Church as disciples, members (albeit not yet full members) of the household of faith. The text calls this rite “the first consecration by the Church”1 of those seeking Christian initiation. They are literally marked with the cross of Christ as God’s own.
The Rite of Acceptance may be celebrated several times in the course of the year. When planning their annual calendar, each parish should fix at least two, and often three, times for celebrating this rite, so that as inquirers are deemed ready, they may be welcomed in a timely manner.
After the celebration of the Rite of Acceptance, the names of the catechumens are to be duly inscribed in the Register of Catechumens (different from the Book of the Elect which is signed later), along with the names of the sponsors and the minister, the date and place of celebration.