Rite of passage
A rite of passage is a ceremony that signifies the transition of a person from one status of life to another. It is a means through which the society effect translations in individuals' lives as they move through different social identities. The rite of passage that this paper will discuss is the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA), practiced with the Catholic Church. It is the process through which the unbaptized people who are interested in becoming Catholics, called catechumen, are baptized and allowed to partake in Catholic Christian practices such as taking sacraments.
This is the phase where the catechumens are separated from their former colleagues and get acquainted with the instructors, members of the catholic community and their fellow catechumens. They hold sessions in the Catholic Church premises to make inquiries and obtain answers about the catholic faith. The phase provides a forum for the Catholics and those seeking to join the faith become comfortable with each other (Catholic Church, 1974) . This portion of your ritual fits the criteria for the separation phase because it takes the mind of the participants away from their familiar friends, groups and ways of doing things. Since they have not been initiated into the catholic practices after breaking off from their former practices, they are at a loss of identity.
This phase is known as the Catechumenate. It is a period in which the catechumens undergo a formal training on the practices of the catholic faith. Some of the teachings focus on the teachings of Jesus, the sacraments, and the Catholic Church. The Catechumens are assigned a mentor to help them in the journey of faith. They are partly involved in the Holy Mass, which is a celebration that takes place every Sunday. They do not participate in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. The portion fits in the transition stage because it entails learning of the Catholic faith. The participants have neither their old identity nor acquired the new identity.
The phase takes occurs during the Lenten Season's forty days. During these times, believers express their repentance through fasting, sacrifices, prayer and charity to the underprivileged. The catechumens at this stage are called elects. The instructors introduce them to prayers and baptize them. The elects receive initiation sacraments and can partake in the sacrament of confession.
The phase ends with the instructors introducing the new believers to parish ministries. They become active participants in the parish life. This portion fits in the incorporation phase because the initiates have gained a new identity, are equipped with values of the Catholic faith, and can practice what they have learned.
The RCIA is a rite of passage that transforms a non-believer without the knowledge of Catholic faith to a believer with full knowledge of the Catholic faith and acceptable to partake in its practices.
Catholic Church. (1974). Rite of Christian initiation of adults: Provisional text. Washington: Publications Office, United States Catholic Conference
The Essence of Anthropology, 3rd addition by Haviland, Prins, Walrath & Mcbride