Adult catechumenate in 2018/2019
Come to me…
This is a way how we can read Matthew’s Gospel. Jesus Christ invites everyone to follow him. Also in the Archdiocese of Luxembourg, there are people who hear the call of Christ later in life. This can have many causes: in a pluralistic, laic-oriented society, moral imprints disappear. In many respects, the social and family network no longer provide the framework to spread the Faith. It is not uncommon in Luxembourg that children are no longer automatically baptized during their first two years of life. In many places, children are baptized a few weeks before their First Communion, and so they are accepted into the Catholic community.
Yes, even in adults, the desire to approach the Catholic community to follow Jesus Christ’s call can arise. Every year, there are women and men who hear the call of Jesus Christ and follow His way. The Archdiocese of Luxembourg has been accompanying these adults for several years and offers preparatory meetings at a diocesan level. The adult catechumenate is divided into 4 stages:
First annunciation and admission into the catechumenate
The interest in following Christ can be triggered by different and various sources. Encounters with dedicated Christians, Christian art, a religious book, a festive liturgy, certain biographical events or the search for meaning and orientation can lead to a first interest in the Christian Faith. This interest must be taken seriously by the pastoral teams in the parish associations and used for a first accompaniment and proclamation. The catechetical accompaniment is then taken up in regular meetings for the catechumens on the diocesan level to the climax of this first stage: the admission into the catechumenate. This celebration takes place on the 2th December 2018 in the respective pastoral parish of the catechumens. From this moment on, the catechumen is a member of the Christian community and prepares herself/himself officially for the initiation sacraments.
Time of catechumenate and decisive call
This phase is determined by the learning of the Christian message, the practice of prayer and the active participation in the services, as well as a living love of the neighbor in the way the spirit of Jesus teaches us and leads us to do. The local community plays a central role in the accompaniment of her catechumens. She carries the catechumens through her prayer and her concrete accompaniment into a Christian life. Two defining moments of the catechumenate take place in the parish communities: the presentation of the confession of Faith as well as the presentation of the “Our Father” prayer.
This second stage will be decided on the first Lent day, 10th March 2019 with the celebration of the admission to baptism. Here the catechumens are invited to publicly express their will to receive the sacraments of the Catholic Church. After asking the godmothers, godfathers and catechists of the catechumens, the catechumens’ names are written in the Catechumens’ book of the Archdiocese.
Ultimate preparation and celebration of the initiation sacraments
The time of closer preparation falls into the Lent period. At this time, the Christians are called to repent and to renew their Christian life. Thus, they prepare themselves for the Easter celebration and the renewal of the baptismal confession in Easter time. For baptismal seekers, it is the time of closer preparation for the celebration of the baptism sacrament, in which they attach their decision to join the fellowship of the Church.
This is expressed in the various feast days of the Sunday divine services of Lent: presentation of the confession of Faith and of the Our Father prayer (2nd Sunday of Lent), celebration of the strengthening rites (Skrutines on the 3rd, 4th and 5th Sundays of Lent), Effetah and Confession of Faith (Palm Sunday). These moments take place in the respective worship services of the pastoral parishes of the catechumens.
The catechumens are then baptized in their communities and receive the First Communion in the Easter Night on the 20th April 2019. In the Archdiocese of Luxembourg the path was chosen to donate the confirmation of the Catechumens a bit later by the Archbishop. Some catechumens are baptized in the cathedral of Luxembourg by the Archbishop Jean-Claude Hollerich during the Easter week.
Mystagogycal deepening and Confirmation
In the time of mystagogy, the new baptized are to experience the reality of the new life in Christ that was given to them through the sacraments. Furthermore, the new-baptized will learn their belonging to the church, and find their place in the church. Gradually the new Christians are to be found in their parish, and the mass celebrations are to be anchored as the most important place of catechesis. The parish must accept these new Christians, discover them. What kind of charisms do they have to offer? The new baptized should be informed about the various parish groups and activities and invited them to join them.
Parallel to this process is the preparation for the celebration of the Confirmation, which the Archbishop of Luxembourg will administer to the newly-baptized, as well as all adults who prepare themselves for the Confirmation in the context of the adult catechumenate on Confirmation, on 9th June 2019 .