3rd Step

The Easter Vigil

At the Easter Vigil the celebration of the sacraments of initiation takes place. The Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist (Holy Communion). The Elect celebrate all of these while the Candidates (having already been baptized) only celebrate Confirmation and the Eucharist. The Elect are now called Neophytes, and they are considered to be full members of the Christian faithful.

The Rites used to confer these Sacraments are outlined below. These Rites can also be celebrated outside of the Easter Vigil, however, this should be exceptional for the unbaptized. The circumstances for the baptized candidates are more flexible. At some college campuses that have spring breaks during Holy Week, initiation for both the baptized and the unbaptized is often done during the weeks after Easter, so more of the community can be present.

Third Step: Celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation

The Celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation is the Rite undertaken by the Elect (unbaptized).

The outline of this Rite is as follows:

Liturgy of the Word

Celebration of Baptism

  • Presentation of the Elect
  • Invitation to Prayer
  • Litany of the Saints
  • Prayer over the Water
  • Profession of Faith:

– Renunciation of Sin
– Profession of Faith

  • Baptism
  • Explanatory Rites:

– [Anointing after Baptism] – if Confirmation is separated from the Catechumen’s Baptism
– [Clothing with a Baptismal Garment] – optional
– Presentation of a Lighted Candle

Celebration of Confirmation

  • Invitation
  • Laying on of Hands
  • Anointing with Chrism

The confirmation can take place at the same time as the baptism, by anointing with the oil immediately after the pouring of the water.

[Renewal of Baptismal Promises (at the Easter Vigil)] for the congregation

  • Invitation
  • Renewal of Baptismal Promises:

– Renunciation of Sin
– Profession of Faith

  • Sprinkling with Baptismal Water

Liturgy of the Eucharist

The Rite of Reception of Baptized Christians into the full Communion of the Catholic Church

The Rite of Reception of Baptized Christians into the full Communion of the Catholic Church is the Rite undertaken by the Candidates (baptized).

The outline of this Rite (within Holy Mass) is as follows:

Liturgy of the Word

  • Readings
  • Homily

Celebration of Reception

  • Invitation
  • Profession of Faith
  • Act of Reception
  • [Confirmation]: – omitted if the Candidate has already been Confirmed

– Laying on of Hands
– Anointing with Chrism

  • Celebrant’s Sign of Welcome
  • General Intercessions
  • Sign of Peace

Liturgy of the Eucharist

The Combined Rite

Where there are both Elect (unbaptized) and Candidates (baptized) in a Parish there is the option of a combined Rite at this stage. This Rite is formally know as The (Combined) Celebration at the Easter Vigil of the Sacraments of Initiation and of the Rite of Reception into the Full Communion of the Catholic Church.

The outline of this rite is as follows:

Service of Light

Liturgy of the Word

Celebration of Baptism

  • Presentation of the Elect
  • Invitation to Prayer
  • Litany of the Saints
  • Prayer over the Water
  • Profession of Faith:

– Renunciation of Sin
– Profession of Faith

  • Baptism
  • Explanatory Rites

– [Anointing after Baptism] – if Confirmation is separated from the Catechumen’s Baptism
– [Clothing with a Baptismal Garment]- optional
– Presentation of a Lighted Candle

Renewal of Baptismal Promises

  • Invitation
  • Renewal of Baptismal Promises:

– Renunciation of Sin
– Profession of Faith

  • Sprinkling with Baptismal Water

Celebration of Reception

  • Invitation
  • Profession by the Candidates
  • Act of reception

Celebration of Confirmation

  • Invitation
  • Laying on of Hands
  • Anointing with Chrism

Liturgy of the Eucharist