The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is for unbaptized adults and children of catechetical age who have heard the mystery of Christ proclaimed, who consciously and freely seek the living God and Jesus Christ whom he has sent, and who enter the way of faith and conversion as the Holy Spirit opens their hearts. [RCIA 1]
It is suited to a spiritual journey of adults that varies according to the many forms of God’s grace, the cooperation of the individuals, the action of the Church, and the circumstances of time and place. [RCIA 5]
It is marked by four periods – Inquiry, Catechumenate, Purification and Enlightenment, and Mystagogy – and three steps – Rite of Acceptance into the Catechumenate, Rite of Election, Celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation.
This ritual book also contains additional rituals for receiving into the full communion of the Catholic Church those adults who have already been validly baptized.