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The Roman Catholic Rite for the Christian Initiation of Adults has been a marvelous instrument for facilitating liturgical renewal throughout the church. Its culmination in the celebration of the paschal feast has contributed mightily to making the Easter vigil the primary liturgical event of the church year. The rite has also helped us to recover the emphasis on the unitary nature of the sacraments of initiation: baptism-confirmation-communion, all celebrated in sequence at the paschal feast. The RCIA can also provide us a perspective from which to examine the formation and transformation of paschal faith. What makes it such a useful perspective for such an examination is that there is such a clear line of differentiation between the before and after of adult initiation, and the term we most often use to make that line of demarcation is conversion. Before the sacraments of initiation comes the training of the catechumenate, climaxing in the Lenten cycle prior to the paschal feast. After Easter comes the mystagogy of post-baptismal catechesis, unpacking the meaning of the sacramental life of the church for the new converts to enable them to reflect on the mysteries they are now experiencing from within the full fellowship of the redeemed.

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