The “Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults” – an undiscovered book Cover Image

„Obrzędy chrześcijańskiego wtajemniczenia dorosłych” – księga wciąż nie odkryta
The “Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults” – an undiscovered book

Author(s): Daniel Brzeziński
Subject(s): Pastoral Theology
Published by: Wyższe Seminarium Duchowne w Łodzi
Keywords: Christian initiation of adults; catechumenate; post-baptismal catechumenate; mystagogy

Summary/Abstract: In the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy “Sacrosanctum Concilium”, Council Fathers of VaticanII marking the direction of liturgical renewal, stated that in the Western Church “the catechumenate for adults, comprising several distinct steps, is to be restored. … By this means the time of the catechumenate,which is intended as a period of suitable instruction, may be sanctified by sacred rites to be celebratedat successive intervals of time” (SC 64). Furthermore, the authors of the Constitution decidedthat “both the rites for the baptism of adults are to be revised: not only the simpler rite, but also the moresolemn one, which must take into account the restored catechumenate” (SC 66). The fulfillment of the postulates of the Vatican II was the proclamation of a new ritual “Ordo initiationischristianae adultorum” in 1972. Thus, in 2017 it has been 45 years since the Latin editio typicawas promulgated and 30 years since the Polish edition of the rite was published. The document enteredinto force by the decision of the Episcopate of Poland on May 14th, 1989. Despite the passing years, this post-conciliar document remains practically unknown and is rarelyused in liturgical, catechetical and pastoral praxis in Poland. It refers mostly to catechumenate but also,to a lesser extent, to the practice of granting sacraments of Christian initiation for adults.It might be suspected that the “fortunate reason” for such a state of affairs is the fact that the sacramentof baptism is commonly received in Poland by infants and a very small minority of adults preparefor the sacrament of Christian initiation. It does not imply, however, that the baptized possess a matureChristian formation and basic religious knowledge despite attending classes of religious education inschools and parishes. There is an urgent need for post-baptismal catechumenate, also known as deuterocatechumenateor repeated catechumenate. The “Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults” is still an undiscovered document. However, catechumenateof adults or post-baptismal catechumenate suggested by the “Rite of Christian Initiationof Adults” should be a regular form of pastoral practice. Its aim is to lead adults to mature faith andconscious participation in the Paschal Mystery of Christ. The article offers a presentation and rereading of the post-conciliar document which still awaits tobe rediscovered in both parish and special pastoral practice as well as in liturgy, especially in the annual liturgical celebrations.

  • Issue Year: 26/2017
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 123-134
  • Page Count: 12
  • Language: Polish