I'm officially Accepted 

I'm officially Accepted

Wow! I know I have been saying that a lot, but it reflects my awe and humility and amazement and a host of other emotions as I continually discover and experience more aspects of Catholic life and faith. Today, as I mentioned, I participated in the Rite of Acceptance, and just for those who don't know how it goes, and for myself so I don't forget, I want to write here all that I experienced today.

This morning I attended a service at my former home Protestant church, partially to assure relatives that going Catholic did not mean I was not gonig to be Chrisitan any longer. Thankfully the reason that I am no longer taknig communion with them did not come up as I had to leave early to get to the parish in time for practice for the Rite.

The practice seesion itself was fairly brief and went over just the responses expected of us (there were around 14 of us participating today, so we responded as a group rather than individually to Father's questions) and the actions both we and our sponsors would be going through. However, this practice did not convey how moving the Rite would be when performed before a sanctuary full of people, and with Father is full vestment.

We then were ushered outside the church to wait until Mass began, at which time the RCIA director knocked on the door to the church, requesting entrance for us. SHe had to knock pretty loud and more than once, too! As we entered we each spoke our name into a hand-held mic before walking to the front (we entered at the side door) and facing the alter with our sponsors behind us. My stand-in sponsor was a young woman named Mellisa. Father asked us what we came seeking, and we answered "Faith" and when asked what this would give us we answered "eternal life". Then after a brief admonition about obedience to the Word, we were asked if we would obey the Word, and we each answered "I am"

Then the congregation and our sponsors were asked if they would support us and guide us, and first the sponsors alone said "we will", then Father put his hand to his ear and the congregation said "we will" and he kept his hand to his ear, and the sponsors said "we will" again. Father then repeated his question and this time the congregation and the sponsors answered together and Father complemented them on doing better that time. Then we turned and faced our sponsors so they could place the sign of the cross on us. On the forehead so we would conform our thoughts to Christ's, our ears so we could hear Him speak, our lips so we would only say what was pleasing to Him, our hearts that Christ might dwell there, our shoulders that we might bear gladly the light yoke of Christ, our hands that we might do good works, and our feet that we might be blessed and bless others as we go in His name. This was the mos powerful moment in the Rite for me, as I truly felt like I was being brought closer to Christ.

Then we turned back toward the alter as Father gathered some wooden cross necklaces that were waiting on a table by the Ambo, and handed one to each sponsor befroe having us turn and face our sponsors again so they could place the cross around our necks, and as they did, Father said that from this moment Christ placed his ownership on us, that we no belonged to Christ and His Church. THen we were welcomed with applause and went to our seats for the readings and homily, which were about a vineyard and grapes and tying together 4 passages I had never compared side by side. Afterwards, we came forward again and knelt before the alter while the prayrs of the fiathful werw offered, including some for us and our sponsors. After this we were asked to stand and we presented with our Bibles, individually with Father telling us to recieve it as CHrist's living Word. Then the candidates (me!) and catecumenes were dismissed for more study. We follewed Deacon Paul out of the Church as he carried the ornate Gospel out, as those around us sang that they prayed for us, and applauded.

In our dismissal we talked about the Rite and went over the readings, and got to know one antoher a bit better. I found out that one of the guys I met on Tuesday nights was actually married to a Catholic and had been attending Mass for 10 years. Another was a teacher at the parish school, and of course our director mentioned my own particular difficulty of a firmly Protestant husband at home. After our break we went over the schedule for the next year, and I am not sure at the moment if I will ever become Catholic, as a lot of the main ceremonies are going to be at the main cathedral which is a good distance away, with my husband's sensitivities. But I will keep that in my prayers for now and not worry too much about it right now.

We also discussed prayer, and some of the prayers we need to know or at least be familiar with before Easter, and the first few I already know. Also we will be learning and praying the Rosary in dismissal, and learning more about prayer throughout the process of our faith formation.

Well, I think that is about it, except that I wore the cross the rest of the day amd plan to wear it for the rest of the week, except when sleeping as I don't want the string tangling in my hair, and it would raise unnecesary tension between me and my dear hubby. Thank you for your prayers, comments and reading. May God richly bless you.

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Comment Hey - Congratulations! The various ceremonies & rites we have in Catholicism are rich in history and symbolism. I like that a lot - it gives me a deep appreciation for the church.

Sat Oct 8, 2005 7:26 pm MST by Steve Bogner

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