Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults

Welcome!  Thank you for taking the first step in inquiring about membership of the Roman Catholic Church.  We are delighted to accompany you as you know more intimately the living person of Jesus Christ who continues his presence among us in the Church. 

The RCIA, which stands for Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, is a process through which non-baptized men and women enter the Catholic Church.  It includes several stages marked by study, prayer and rites at Mass.  Participants in the RCIA are known as catechumens.  They undergo a process of conversion as they study the Gospel, profess faith in Jesus and the Catholic Church, and receive the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Eucharist. The RCIA process follows the ancient practice of the church and was restored by the Second Vatican Council as the normal way adults prepare for baptism.

RCIA is a spiritual process for anyone who is inquiring about the Catholic Faith, and also for Catholics who are already baptised, but who, for some reason, were never instructed in the faith or celebrated the Sacraments of Confirmation and/or Holy Eucharist.  

The three goals of RCIA are:

  • To instruct participants about the Catholic Church

  • To bring about a full conversion as a follower of Jesus Christ

  • To become an active member of the faith community

If you are interested in being initiated into the Roman Catholic Church, please consider attending Mass at a nearby parish and contact the Parish Priest to enquire if they have an RCIA programme.

(Please return Completed form to your Parish Priest)

Celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation
Holy Saturday


Preparation Rites
Holy Saturday

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Preparation Rites
on Holy Saturday

Scrutinies and Presentations

The scrutinies and presentations are rites belonging to the period of purification and enlightment for the elect. The scrutinies are rites for self-searching and repentance and have above all a spiritual purpose.  The scrutinies are meant to uncover, then heal all that is weak, defective, or sinful in the hearts of the elect, and then give them strength in Christ, who is the way, the truth, and the life.  These rites, should complete the conversion of the elect and deepend their resolve to hold fast to Christ.  


In order to inspire in the elect a desire for purification and redemption by Christ, three scrutinies are celebrated.   By this means, first of all the elect are instructed gradually about the mystery of sin, from which every person longs to be delivered an saved.  Second, their spirit is dulled with Christ the Redeemer, who is the living water (gospel of the Samaritan woman in the first scrutiny), the light of the world (gospel of the man born blind in the second scrutiny), the resurrection and the life (gospel of Lazarus in the third scrutiny).  From the first to the final scrutiny the elect should progress in their perception of sin and their desire for salvation.  

The presentation take place after each scrutiny, whereby the Church entrusts to the elect the Creed and the Lord's Prayer, the ancient texts that have always been regarded as expressing the heart of the Church's faith and prayer.  These texts are presented in order to enlighten the elect.  

Third Scrutiny & Presentation of the Lord's Prayer
(Fifth Sunday of Lent)


Presentation of the Lord's Prayer

Second Scrutiny 
(Fourth Sunday of Lent)

First Scrutiny & Presentation of the Creed
(Third Sunday of Lent)


Presentation of the Creed

Diocese of Meath Celebrates the Rite of Election


Bishop Tom celebrated the Rite of Election on the First Sunday of Lent with catechumens from Longwood, Laytown, Dunboyne and Mullingar parishes.  During the ceremony, the sponsors, catechists, and catechumens affirmed their intention to join the Church, and the Church formally made its ‘election’ of these catechumens to receive the Sacraments of Initiation at Easter. The 'Elect' will intensify their catechetical instruction during the Lenten season in preparation for the Easter Vigil. 

Rite of Election of Catechumens