At aged 8 years a child is understood to have reached the age of reason. This means that they begin to have moral responsibility knowing the difference between good and bad, right and wrong and therefore deserve moral praise, blame, reward or punishment. Anyone who has reached the age of reason has the capacity to choose for themselves whether they wish to approach the Sacraments. This may be done with or without the encouragement of a parent or guardian, but as they have not reached the age of majority (18 years) they can only be admitted to the Sacraments with the express consent of a parent or guardian.
RCIC (Rite of Christian Initiation of Children) is for children who have reached the age of reason and are either baptised or unbaptised. The initiation of such children is based on their personal faith journey, rather than what the know.
What is the RCIC process?
Formation classes for children taking part in the RCIC process usually begin in the Autumn. They will attended regular classes, usually on the weekend, with breaks during school holiday periods. As they move through the programme of preparation they will be assessed by their catechists (teachers) who will first recommend them for Acceptance and then for the necessary Sacraments of Initiation. Acceptance takes place when a child has a good understanding of who Jesus is and the Gospel message and will usually take place during the season of Lent. Following Acceptance children begin preparation specific to the Sacraments they are to receive.
When are the children admitted to the Sacraments?
Throughout the RCIC the catechists will follow the children’s journey of faith. Once they recommend the children to receive the Sacraments the journey of faith will be celebrated during the Easter Season.
Children who HAVE NOT BEEN BAPTISED CATHOLIC will receive the Sacraments of Baptism, First Eucharist (First Holy Communion) and, if they have reached the necessary age, the Sacrament of Confirmation at the Easter Liturgies.
Children who are ALREADY BAPTISED CATHOLIC will receive First Eucharist (First Holy Communion) and, if they have reached the necessary age, the Sacrament of Confirmation at one of the Easter Day Masses.
What is required of a child in RCIC?
Regular attendance at Mass and classes, as well as active participation in class discussions and activities.
All children need a sponsor who is an active member in the Catholic Church who will be able to be present at the Easter ceremonies. There will be various activities for the sponsor and child to complete together throughout the year, as well as activities for the child and parents/guardians to engage with. If the family is unable to find a sponsor for the child, we will help find a good match in the parish.
How do does my child join RCIC?
Simply contact the parish office for the relevant details. The staff will arrange a meeting with a priest for you and your child to have a discussion. You will then be invited to the enrolment session as the time draws close.