Liturgical Catechesis as an Essential Dimension of Initiatory Catechesis in the <italic>Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults</italic> Adapted for Children
Liturgical Catechesis as an Essential Dimension of Initiatory Catechesis in theRite of Christian Initiation of Adults Adapted for ChildrenDiana Dudoit Raiche, Ph.D.Director: Catherine Dooley, O.P., Ph.D.The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) has been the normative document in the United States for the initiation of children of catechetical age since 1988, yet implementing the adapted rite, Part II, Chapter 1, has been problematic at the level of pastoral practice. Journey to the Fullness of Life: A Report on the Implementation of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults in the United States (USCC, 2000) documents significant challenges regarding the implementation of the RCIA for children of catechetical age, such as insufficient knowledge and implementation of the adapted rite among leadership, appropriate catechetical content, confirmation of child catechumens, and confusion between methods for initiatory and ongoing catechesis.This study explicates the meaning of initiatory catechesis and liturgical catechesis in the context of the liturgical catechetical renewal of the Vatican II era, tracing the semantic evolution in catechesis in magisterial catechetical documents and pastoral literature. The study analyzes initiatory and liturgical catechesis in relation to the pastoral introductions and rituals in the adapted rite of the 1988 RCIA, which is an adaptation of the normative vision of RCIA Part I, a much fuller expression of the Church`s vision of initiatory catechesis. In analyzing for the first time the rituals in the adapted rite in relation to the rituals designed foradults using an integral, tripartite liturgical catechesis methodology of preparation for, celebration of, and reflection on the rites of the catechumenate, this study demonstrates the kind of initiatory and liturgical catechesis informed by the ancient catechumenate and demanded by the lex orandi, lex credendi of the adapted rite for children. The formative value of liturgy complements catechetical dimensions integral to the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults in the adapted rite and demonstrates that a tripartite liturgical catechesis constitutes a method that is constitutive and integral to initiatory catechesis. The study concludes that liturgical catechesis is an essential dimension of initiatory catechesis in the RCIA adapted for children and necessary to effect comprehensive catechesis that constitutes a process of formation and school of faith, both of which are integral to the vision of the catechumenate.
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