St. Joseph The Worker Parish
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA)

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The Sacraments of Christian Initiation
 
Christian initiation is accomplished by means of the sacraments which establish the foundations of Christian life. The faithful born anew by Baptism are strengthened by Confirmation and are then nourished by the Eucharist.
 

The Sacrament of Baptism
 
From the day of Pentecost, the Church has administered Baptism to anyone who believes in Jesus Christ.
 
The essential rite of this sacrament consists in immersing the candidate in water or pouring water over his or her head while invoking the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
 
Every person not yet baptized is able to receive baptism.
 
Everyone who is to be baptized is required to make a profession faith. This is done personally in the case of an adult. Baptismal preparation (catechumenate) as well as the development and safeguarding of the faith and the grace given at baptism are the responsibility of the whole ecclesial community.
 
Baptism takes away original sin, all personal sins and all punishment due to sin. It makes the baptized person a participant in the divine life of the Trinity through sanctifying grace, the grace of justification which incorporates one into Christ and into his Church.  It gives one a share in the priesthood of Christ and provides the basis for communion with all Christians. It bestows the theological virtues and the gifts of the Holy Spirit. A baptized person belongs forever to Christ, marked with the indelible seal of Christ (character).
 
 
The Sacrament of Confirmation
 
The essential rite of Confirmation is the anointing with Sacred Chrism (oil mixed with balsam and consecrated by the bishop), which is done by the laying on of the hands of the minister who pronounces the sacramental words proper to the rite. In the West this anointing is done on the forehead of the baptized with the words, “Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit”.
 
Confirmation is a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit like that of Pentecost. The outpouring impresses on the soul an indelible character and produces a growth in the grace of Baptism.  It roots the recipient more deeply in divine sonship, binds him (or her) more firmly to Christ and to the Church and reinvigorates the gifts of the Holy Spirit in his (or her) soul. It gives a special strength to witness to the Christian faith.
 
Only those already baptized can and should receive this sacrament which can be received only once.
 
 
The Sacrament of the Eucharist
 
 
It is the source and summit of all Christian life. In the Eucharist, the sanctifying action of God in our regard and our worship of him reach their high point. It is a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a paschal banquet, in which Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us.

The Eucharist unfolds in two great parts which together form one, single act of worship. The Liturgy of the Word involves proclaiming and listening to the Word of God. The Liturgy of the Eucharist includes the presentation of the bread and wine, the prayer of the anaphora containing the words of consecration, and communion.

Jesus Christ is present in the Eucharist in a unique and incomparable way. He is present in a true, real and substantial way, with his Body and his Blood, with his Soul and his Divinity. In the Eucharist, therefore, there is present in a sacrament way, that is, under the Eucharistic species of bread and wine. Christ whole and entire, God and Man.

Transubstantiation means the change of the whole substance of bread into the substance of the Body of Christ and of the whole substance of wine into the substance of his blood. The change is brought about in the Eucharistic prayer through the efficacy of the word of Christ and by the action of the Holy Spirit. However, the outward characteristics of bread and wine, that is the “Eucharistic species”, remain unaltered.

The presence of Christ continues in the Eucharist as long as the Eucharistic species subsist.

The Church guards with the greatest care the Hosts that have been consecrated.

To receive Holy Communion one must be fully incorporated into the Catholic Church and be in the state of grace, that is, not conscious of being in mortal sin.

From the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church
Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops