Q: I have a query regarding the Rite of Acceptance. Could you give a reason for why a parish would avoid doing the Rite of Acceptance during Advent and Lent. If it is done during these times, doesn’t that present a problem with the Introductory Rites?
A: In theory, the Rite of Acceptance can be done at any time, but RCIA 18 suggests two or even three times a year, so it would be logical to avoid seasons like Advent and Lent, which have much focus already.
The RCIA designed the Rite of Acceptance first as a word service, not as part of mass. It’s OK to have it at mass, and I like it that way, but it could be led by a deacon, for example, as a separate prayer service. When it is done at mass, the introductory rites are complicated, but no more so during Advent and Lent.
The Rite of Acceptance is best done when it has been discerned that one or more persons are ready to become catechumens. This could happen at any time of year, and it would be beneficial for the potential catechumen to have the ceremony as soon as possible. If the favorable discernment should fall during Advent and Lent, in order to avoid Sunday mass, a deacon could lead a prayer service at an agreeable time.