Holy See Issues New Liturgical Rite for Institution of Catechists

The initiative comes after Pope Francis instituted the ministry of catechists on May 10, 2021 through the motu proprio ‘Antiquum ministerium’.

Newsroom (14/12/2021 3:04 PM, Gaudium Press) The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments has published a new liturgical Rite of Institution of Catechists in the Catholic Church. The initiative comes after Pope Francis instituted the ministry of catechists on May 10, 2021 through the motu proprio ‘Antiquum ministerium‘.

The document, published this week will be in effect after January 1. It details the requirements and the meaning of being instituted into this ministry. 

Ritual of Institution of Catechist during Mass

According to the rite, the institution of catechists can be done during a Holy Mass or at a Liturgy of the Word (the readings from the Old and New Testaments are also indicated in the typical Editio). It must follow the set order of exhortation, invitation to prayer, blessing, and handing the crucifix.

Together with the rite, presented in Latin, the prefect of the Vatican Congregation, Archbishop Arthur Roche, published a letter addressed to the presidents of the Episcopal Conferences around the world. The established rite, Roche notes, “offers a further opportunity for reflection on the theology of ministries in order to arrive at an organic vision of the distinct ministerial realities.”

The important call of catechists as transmitters of the Faith

The nature of this ministry is a “stable service rendered to the local Church,” a “lay ministry that has as its foundation the common condition of the baptized.” It is, therefore, “essentially distinct” from the priestly ministry received in the Sacrament of Holy Orders.

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Arch. Roche expains that “catechists, by virtue of their Baptism, are called to be co-responsible in the local Church for the proclamation and transmission of the faith, carrying out this role in collaboration with the ordained ministers and under their guidance.” (EPC) 

Compiled by Gustavo Kralj

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