In June of 2015, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of Sacraments confirmed the new English translation of the Order of Celebrating Matrimony, second edition with a recognitio. On February 2, 2016, the President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, wrote that this ritual text “may be published and used in the Liturgy as of September 8, 2016, the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and its use is mandatory as of December 30, 2016, the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. From that day forward, no other English edition of the Order of Celebrating Matrimony may be used in the diocese of the United States.”

The Order of Celebrating Matrimony, second edition ritual text is MANDATORY in the dioceses of the United States on December 30, 2016 (the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph)

You may purchase the New Marriage Rite Books directly from Liturgical Press by clicking the links below:

We have created a playlist on our YouTube Page with the training from Monsignor Michael Clay recorded on November 11, 2016.

Please click on the video below or HERE to view the playlist on YouTube.

Rite of Election 2019

The Office of Christian Formation will be coordinating the Rite of Election with support from the Office of Worship. This year, the Rite of Election is in three locations; the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults allows for the celebrant to be the Bishop or the Bishop's delegate (RCIA 12, 121). In order to preserve the dignity of the celebration of the Rite of Election, we will limit the number of catechumens to approximately 80. The liturgies will be celebrated outside of Mass.

Below is the plan for the Rite of Election, 2019:

  • Saturday, March 9, 2019 at 9:30 AM Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Salem

    Saturday, March 9, 2019 at 3:00pm Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Richmond

    Sunday, March 10, 2019 at 3:00pm Church of the Holy Family, Virginia Beach

The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA)

The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is the way unbaptized persons and those who have been baptized in another Christian tradition enter into full-communion with the Catholic Church. The RCIA is designed for adults (and children of catechetical age) who, after hearing the mystery of Christ proclaimed, consciously and freely seek the living God and enter the way of faith and conversion as the Holy Spirit opens their hearts; it is a process of discerning and ritualizing various stages of gradual conversion. By God's help, adults and children of catechetical age are strengthened spiritually during their preparation, and at the proper time, they receive the sacraments fruitfully. (RCIA Introduction 1)

For the unbaptized, the RCIA gradually uncovers the story of God’s salvation for all; the mystery of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection; and the workings of the Holy Spirit as revealed in the beliefs, sacramental life, and spiritual practices of the Catholic Church. The initiation of catechumens (the unbaptized in the RCIA) is a gradual process that takes place within the community of the faithful and in accordance with the Church’s liturgical year. Together with the catechumens, the faithful reflect upon the value of the paschal mystery, renew their own conversion, and by their example lead the catechumens to obey the Holy Spirit more generously. (#4) 

For Baptized Christians who seek full communion with the Catholic Church, the RCIA includes rites and pastoral practice. (RCIA Part II: sections 4 and 5).

For Baptized Catholics who have received no other faith formation and have not received the sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist, the RCIA mentions pastoral practices to become a fully initiated Catholic (RCIA Part II, section 4).

Sorting It All Out: Children and Adults in the Initiation Process
To help you recognize who is who, what process is needed, who does what, and where is it recorded, read the stories and scenarios that follow. 

Liturgy Training Publications: Christian Initiation Series in collaboration with FDLC
The Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions, in collaboration with Liturgy Training Publications (LTP), is offering a series of fourteen “virtual workshops.”  These are designed to provide formation in an accessible and affordable format, covering a wide range of topics, from general overviews to detailed legalities. They examine the various periods and steps of the catechumenate process, recapturing the vision of the RCIA, and offering best practices for liturgical celebrations. They are aimed at various levels of experience, but are fruitful, too, for the seasoned veteran, as well as the new parish volunteer.  Parish staffs, and especially parish RCIA team members, should consider taking advantage of these online seminars.

Registration for the first four workshops listed above is currently open. Each workshop costs $15, however, you may register for all four workshops for only $40. Registration is available at the following link:

Please note your session of choice, as workshops are offered during the day and repeated in the evening in order to accommodate paid staff as well as volunteers in multiple time zones.

Sacrament of Penance

The Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions provides free resources for parishes, schools, universities, religious communities, and houses of formation to utilize during the Seasons of Advent and Lent.