Q: I cannot find anything explicit in the RCIA that says an ordained person must preside at the presentations if they are celebrated outside of Mass. Does such a rubric exist? Or can a lay minister preside in, for example, a retreat setting?
A: The ritual implies that the presider of the presentations is an ordained person, though I admit that when you read it today, it’s hard to see. In Latin the OICA uses the word celebrans for the leader of the various rites, including baptism. It identifies separately the deacon – even in the presentations. I surmise that the compilers chose the word “celebrant” to mean either a bishop or a priest. In the presentation of the Lord’s Prayer, for example, a deacon invites the elect forward, but the celebrant proclaims the gospel. Because a bishop or priest is presiding, this is a rare case where the deacon stands aside and the celebrant reads the gospel because that constitutes the presentation of the Lord’s Prayer.