Ministry of Catechesis Aims/objectives: Lectionary; Liturgy; Instructional; Combining the three. Lectionary: Celebrating The Word; Sharing the Gospel prayer; knowledge;; community; relational; Familiarity with lectionary cycle; in context of the Liturgical Year Liturgy: Journey of RCIA: Rites of Acceptance/Welcome #41, #42 p.17; Election/Enrolment of names #105, #106 p.55; Scrutinies #128, #129 p.70; Easter Vigil #172, #173 p.107 Within each stage of the journey there is a deepening understanding of: Kerygma: awakening relationship with Christ; deepening awareness of Christ in daily life and practice; conversion of mind and heart to Christ: growing faith in Trinitarian nature of God. Evangelia: familiarization with Christian teachings; gradual catechetical instruction to incrementally expand understanding of Church teachings; intrarelation of Christian teachings through conversion process. Koinonia: sense of community; celebrating faith in community; support of community in journey of conversion, i.e. PP, RCIA team, sponsors, parish, family, involvement of all Baptized through the RCIA journey (representative/ growing familiarity and recognizing community of faith; etc. Leitourgia: prayer-personal, community, liturgical; liturgical seasons/year unfolds; growing discernment/awareness/desire to participate in sacraments. Diakonia: initial enquiry into the Catholic community of faith; bearing witness through community belonging; service of others as natural in accepting full participation in community of faith: live each moment sacramentally Instructional: process of engagement; resources of „The Summit‟; „Pathway Through Catholicism‟; „At Home with God‟s People‟; planning the years topics in relation to the liturgical calendar; Tradition; prayer instruction; offering full understanding of Catholic practice and faith; etc N.B: At each stage of the RCIA journey these five aspects should be reviewed to ensure catechumens and candidates are developing a clear understanding of their faith/conversion and identify any concerns/questions/ issues Reading Material: Lectionary Based Catechesis by Dr Elio Capra SDB pp166-174 Liturgical Spirituality and The RCIA: Forum Essays by Shawn Madigan pp1-3: „Liturgical Spirituality‟ and „Guide for Spiritual Formation‟. Towards Adult Faith Catholic Pastoral Formation Centre pp42-44 [KH: includes „Implication of Adult Education‟ which is topical in the context of the Catechist Formation Course to understanding the role of discipleship. As stewards of faith, how are we taking on the responsibility to live out our Baptismal call i.e. adult
faith education is one example of the mature process of actively living out our faith.]
Lectionary Based Catechesis “The treasures of the Bible…be opened up more lavishly, so that richer fare may be provided for the faithful at the table of God‟s Word. In this way a more representative portion of Holy Scripture will be read to the people in the course of a prescribed number of years.” [Documents of Vatican II Constitution of the Liturgy 1963]
What is the lectionary? A list of Scripture readings set out to reflect the Liturgical season. The Lectionary is used in Liturgical celebrations to proclaim The Word of God. The Lectionary reveals The Word that is the Ministry of the life of Christ. Through The Lectionary The Holy Spirit through human authorship continues to actively reveal His presence in the world today. Judaic/Christian understanding of The Word of God is an active reality and Presence in the world today. The Lectionary is more than merely our favorite Bible passages that make us feel good. The inter-relation of the Lectionary with Liturgical Year challenges and reminds us that Jesus is The Way to The Father, and we are constantly being guided by The Spirit. Justin Martyr (150 A.D.) records that proclaiming The Word was the first act within the early Church‟s gatherings. If we understand the Jesus is the manifestation of God‟s Self-communication with humankind, the Lectionary is a constant expression of God‟s personal communication with each of us that “listens with the ears of our heart”. Through anamnesis (active remembering) the Lectionary enlivens Christ in our hearts that through The Spirit we are living witnesses of this revelation. What the Lectionary is not: A favorite collection of readings. It is not simply a logical and sequential prescription of readings. It is not an example of the Bible‟s different literary genres. It is not a modest outline of Hebrew history and early Christianity.
Why the Lectionary is‟s used in RCIA? The Lectionary is therefore fundamental to the RCIA journey, whereby each catechumen/candidate is experiencing a journey of conversion drawn to Christ. The Lectionary is a handbook to introduce the Life of Jesus in unfolding stages through RCIA. The Lectionary unfolds the living Tradition of the Church. The Lectionary‟s use in RCIA each week offers digestible passages of Scripture that gradually and sequentially unpack the Life of Christ. Through engaging with the Lectionary readings, personal experience can be drawn upon which develops and interactive exchange with catechumens/candidates that offer them active involvement. It is their journey of which we are honored to be witness and guide. The Good News declares what God has done; What God is doing; and what God will do through the promise of salvation. The Lectionary offers the RCIA a guidebook to explore Christian values. (Next week the practicalities of the Lectionary‟s use through the RCIA year will be discussed) The Lectionary should be presented to the RCIA group as a diamond in the rough; each week defines a new facet of the Paschal Mystery. For catechumens and candidates unfamiliar with the Liturgical seasons‟ the Lectionary offers them a planned method to reveal the Catholic faith with the best way for them to explore their understanding; drawing them into a deeper awareness of their relationship with Jesus. The Roman Lectionary‟s ecumenical acceptance by sections of the Anglican Church; Lutherans; Uniting and Presbyterian Church offer comfort through familiarity to catechumens and candidates that are coming from these denominations. So too members from other backgrounds are reassured they are entering into a community of faith that is open and willing to share its practice. Raymond Brown refers to the Revised Common Lectionary, as “Catholicism‟s greatest gift to Protestantism”. The Lectionary is a source of that expresses and directs meaning to our gatherings as a community of faith. Our hearts are directed and orientated to a message from Christ that takes root in our hearts and directs our activity. Bibliography: The Years of the Year Editor: Russell Hardiman (Fremantle: Pastoral Liturgy Publications, 1997) pp. 67-68; 167-168
Liturgical Journey through RCIA What does Liturgy mean? Liturgy is celebration; giving thanks Liturgy involves ritual celebration Liturgy utilizes symbols whereby the ordinary express/ mediate the extraordinary The promise of salvation; hope in redemption; connectivity with the Heavenly Kingdom of God through the Eucharist; expresses the longing in our hearts for union with our Creator. Liturgy offers dynamic „otherness‟ whereby our spiritual ascendancy is recognized and offered expression. Liturgy enables us to celebrate the living experience of Jesus in the world by touching our hearts individually that through liturgically is outwardly expressed. The Liturgy employs symbols that draw on the gifts of creation in worship for our Loving architect. Liturgy enables an outpouring of our faith, which often can not be expressed in words. “Liturgy can never be a closed ritual…Unless each member of the assembly lives the ritual moment in their daily lives, the content of the celebration is reduced.” (Joyce Zimmerman) “Go in peace to love and serve the Lord……….” This is not in fact the conclusion of The Mass, but a new beginning, for the coming week. It immediately prompts the question: how are we living in peace and serving the Lord in our daily lives? The Liturgical celebrations of the RCIA along the journey of conversion identify the deepening faith in God; the strengthening relationship with Jesus is recognized and demonstrated. Liturgy creates a public forum through which the whole Church participate in the celebration and thanksgiving of conversion. Liturgy as celebration of Christ in a community of faith offers understanding and challenge to the catechumens/candidates, since the meaning of relationship with Christ is not a private affair but a public event to be celebrated. Liturgical ritual actively engages catechumens/candidates in the ancient rites of the Church and reveals the living tradition of Catholicism while inviting them to be part of this continuous faith journey of which we are all travelers on our path home to God The Father.
Bibliography: Liturgical Spirituality and The RCIA: Forum Essays by Shawn Madigan pp1-3:
Liturgy: Journey of RCIA: Rites of Acceptance/Welcome #41, #42 p.17; Election/Enrolment of names #105, #106 p.55; Scrutinies #128, #129 p.70; Easter Vigil #172, #173 p.107 The Rite of Acceptance/Welcome: [#41, #42] This is the 1st public rite that welcome‟s catechumens and candidates into the Church community. The Catholic faithful, who up until this point may not be aware that the journey of conversion has begun for members of their local community, recognize the evangelization taking place amongst them. This offers hope to the Catholic faithful who unconsciously live out their Christian faith in quiet example, possibly touching people‟s lives through this contact; or challenges their perception of actively living the Gospel message to reflect their faith. This public liturgy demonstrates The Church‟s acceptance and welcome of catechumens and candidates, while enabling an opportunity for God‟s grace to be poured out on those members beginning their conversion journey. The Rite of Acceptance occurs after the period of pre-catechumenate whereby evidence must be clear to the catechists that the catechumen/candidate is deepening in their relationship with Christ; entering a reflective time of prayer with stirrings of repentance; understanding the sense of belonging to a community bound through faith in God; and are drawn in turn to worship God through celebrating the Liturgy. The Rite of Election/Enrolment: [#105; #106} This is the 2nd public rite that draws to a close the period of formation. The Rite of Election is a doorway to the next phase of intense scrutiny. The beginning of Lent is the perfect time in the Liturgical calendar to commence this intense final stage towards the Sacraments of Initiation since all the faithful travel this journey of reflection, redemption and draw closer to God through penitence, abstinence, and good works. Supported by godparents, sponsors and catechists, the catechumens and candidates present themselves as ready to begin this final period towards the Easter Vigil to receive the Sacraments of Initiation. The term „Election‟, refers to those on the RCIA journey of conversion are elected by God, which the Church on earth serves to formalize this Divine calling. Through inscribing their names in the Book of Enrolment, catechumens and candidates formally submit their serious desire to participate in the Sacraments of Initiation and full Communion with God and The Church.
The Scrutinies: Solemnly celebrated through Sunday Liturgies in Lent Their intention is designed to “uncover, and then heal all that is weak, defective or sinful in the hearts of the elect”. RCIA #128 To seriously examine the lives of “The elect” in seeking true repentance. Three Scrutinies: Gospel Year A The Samaritan woman at the well The light of the world: Gospel of the man born blind The Resurrection and the Life: Gospel of Lazarus
Presentations: RCIA #134 The Creed is presented to „The Elect‟ in the week following the 1st scrutiny The Lord‟s Prayer is presented to „The Elect‟ in the week following the 3rd scrutiny
EXAMPLES OF INSTRUCTION ALONG THE RCIA CONVERSION JOURNEY:
Our faith journey: childhood, adolescent and adulthood Levels of faith: mind - search for truth; heart – search for love; soul – the need search for grace Ways of knowing God – experience, reason, faith; Divine Revelation: handing on of revelation through scripture and tradition Divine Inspiration: inerrancy in Scripture; interpretation of Scripture – context; Canon of Scripture HEBREW SCRIPTURE/OLD TESTAMENT Interpreting the Bible: literalists and contextualists Creation: 2 Genesis stories why? What do they mean? De-creation: personal/social and original sin Re-creation through the covenants made with Abram; Israel and David Hebrew faith as „Mother of Christianity‟ NEW TESTAMENT: Jesus‟ birth story Baptism of Jesus Miracles of Jesus: Messianic/Kingdom/ Invitation of faith: The way to The Father is through The Son Death of Jesus Resurrection of Jesus Coming of the Holy Spirit The early Church TRINITARIAN GOD: The Father/ The Son/ The Holy Spirit The Sign of The Cross: called into relationship with the Trinitarian God THE CHURCH: Body of Christ on earth; God‟s People LITURGY: The Mass: structure, practice, participation Celebration Sacramental nature Christ‟s presence
SACRAMENTS: Baptism Confession: Sin & Forgiveness Eucharist Confirmation Holy Orders Marriage Anointing of the Sick THE TEN COMMANDMENTS: 1-3 relates to God 4-10 social dimensions Social Justice The Moral Law Law & Freedom Authority and obedience MARY: Wife; Mother; Daughter; Example of obedience; Mother of the Church SAINTS: witness and example of God relationship with God Jesus‟ Second Coming Last judgment: consequences Jesus‟ teaching
DIFFERENT FORMS OF PRAYER Scripture „The Our Father‟ „The Hail Mary‟ „The Apostle‟s Creed‟ „The Nicene Creed‟ „Glory Be‟ „The Magnificat‟ Prayers of the faithful Psalms Adoration: “the first attitude of humankind acknowledging that his is a creature before his Creator” CCC#2628 Prayer of Intercession: “asking on behalf of another. It knows no boundaries and extends to one‟s enemies”. CCC#2647 Prayer of Thanksgiving Prayer of praise: “recognizes most immediately that God is God”. CCC#2639 Acts of Contrition Meditation: Reflectively “engages thought, imagination, emotion and desire”. CCC#2708 Contemplative Prayer: “in my opinion is nothing else than a close sharing between friends; it takes time frequently to be alone with Him who we know loves us”. St Teresa of Jesus CCC#2709
Mysteries of the Rosary: Joyful: Annunciation; Visitation; Nativity; Presentation in The Temple; The finding of the boy Jesus in The Temple Sorrowful: Agony in the garden; The scourging at the Pillar; The Crowning with Thorns; The Carrying of The Cross; The Crucifixion and Death Glorious: Resurrection; Ascension; Pentecost; Assumption; Crowning Queen of Heaven. Luminous: The Baptism of the Lord; The wedding feast of Cana; Beatitudes; Transfiguration; Institution of the Eucharist. Novena Hymns Instrumental music with contemplative prayer Instrumental music to accompany the Prayer focus Eucharistic prayers Morning Prayers Evening Prayers Divine Office Prayer of St Ambrose Prayer of St Thomas Aquinas Prayer to St Francis Intercession prayers to the saints
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