Q: When you don’t do the combine rites at the Easter Vigil, when would you typically schedule it in relation to the Easter Vigil? I gather that one of the benefits of combining the rites is that everyone celebrates the sacraments together as a RCIA class. How do you keep that “togetherness” when splitting it up?
A: We do not treat the whole group as a single class. We see the group as permeable from the get-go. So, individuals may join at any time, and may celebrate sacraments at different times. In our culture, where we have more candidates than catechumens, I advise creating the process with the candidates in mind first – each with individual experiences of Christ. As each of them is ready, we celebrate the Rite of Reception on a mutually agreed upon Sunday. At the cathedral, I think we’ve had about 4 Sundays this year with the reception of a baptized candidate. Then we have the catechumens stay in the group sessions a longer time so that their initiation takes place at the Easter Vigil. The real group is the parish, not the RCIA class.