The action still needs the approval of the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments before it takes effect.
BALTIMORE, Maryland – The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults, or RCIA, as it is more commonly known, will have its name changed to Order of Christian Initiation for Adults, or OCIA, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has decided this week.
The name change applies both to the process by which one enters the Church and to the book that contains the ritual text and prayers for these steps.
Following the trend to update all liturgical texts to reflect greater fidelity to the original Latin, the American bishops, meeting in Baltimore for their annual fall meeting, approved a revised English edition of the Order on November 17. of the Christian initiation of adults. The English version passed 215-0 with two abstentions.
The action still needs the approval of the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments before taking effect.
On May 7, 2001, Pope John Paul II published Authentic liturgy, a document on the use of vernacular languages ââin the publication of books of the Roman liturgy. This document set in motion a translation effort aimed at retaining the formulation closest to the Latin liturgy. The people in the pews are perhaps more familiar with how this effort affected the translation of the Mass.
Book by book, the episcopal conferences of each language have translated updated versions of the various rites of the Church, renaming the rite of penance to order of penance, for example, after the Latin âOrdo paenitentiaeâ.
It is the last book to undergo the translation effort. Because RCIA was also the name commonly associated with the process of passing through the restored catechumenate, the process has also been renamed, a potentially confusing change that can leave people wondering if anything else has changed in the process.
In a slight revision, the traditional categorization of those asking to be fully accepted into the Church has been changed. The new revision includes four groups: catechumens (who are unbaptized adults); unbaptized infants; baptized non-Catholic Christians and baptized Catholics in need of confirmation.
In addition, the RCIA people were generally referred to as a âcandidateâ. The OCIA will be divided based on where the candidate is in the initiation process. The terms used will be “investigator”, “catechumen” and “elected”.
To become Catholic, individuals go through several rites, the last being at the Easter Vigil when they are welcomed into the Catholic Church. The rites of the Paschal Vigil have also been adjusted. They will now focus more on the validity of baptisms received in other Christian denominations.
The new edition will also include texts for infant baptisms at the Easter Vigil, a feature that was not widely practiced before this change.
A Spanish version was also voted and adopted 218-3 with one abstention. It will keep the acronym of RICA, which translates into Spanish as âRitual de IniciaciÃ³n Cristiana de Adultosâ.