Sacraments of Initiation
Part 2 History

Chapter i20 Summary History of  Christian Initiation

1. Apostolic [0-399]

2. Patristic [400-799] 

3. Early Medieval [800-1199]

4. Medieval [1200-1299]

5. Late Medieval [1300-1499]

6. Reformation [1500-1699]

 

7. After Trent [1700-1899]8. Before Vatican II [1900-1959]

9. Vatican II [1960-1975]

10. After Vatican II [1975-2050]

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before studying the history of the Church's rituals and theology for initiation new members, I suggest that  you review the "introduction" and "presuppositions" given in chapter d21 of these notes Overview of the History of Liturgy.    Pay special attention to your own presuppositions and the rationale behind the ten finger history grid

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1. Apostolic [0-399] 

Jesus, the baptized. Church, sacrament of Jesus. Hebrew & Roman anointing, ritual washing, John's baptism evolves to triple immersion, Trinitarian formula., & come to the overseer for hands, oil & community meal.

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2. Patristic [400-799]

The rites go public.  Apostolic Constitutions. Catechumenate. Presbyters begin to preside at Initiation. (Second) post-water anointing reserved to overseer in West. Original Sin: reason why sinless infants can be Baptized.

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3. Early Medieval [800-1199]

Initiation dissolves into three distinct sacraments: Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist. Catechumenate disappears.

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4. Medieval [1200-1299]

Reification of grace, sin, and sacrament. Theology of sacramental character.

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5. Late Medieval [1300-1499]

One Baptism Ritual with ordinary (never used) form and emergency form [for sick/dying Catechumens]. Infants use this adult (emergency) Rite. Missionary exploration; large groups of pagans baptized without instruction. Confirmation delayed. Many not confirmed.

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6. Reformation [1500-1699]

Anabaptists: faith must come first; faith comes by hearing (evangelization and catechetics). Infant baptism must be reaffirmed in adulthood. Catechisms appear. Catechumenate after Baptism.

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7. After Trent [1700-1899]

Confirmation: Soldiers for Christ, sacramental entrance to adulthood before (adult) First Communion.  Penance replaces Baptism as sin-removal before Confirmation.  Adults and children continue to be baptized by the ritual for baptism of a sick (=dying) adult.

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8. Before Vatican II [1900-1959]

Pius X lowers age for reception of Eucharist. BCE sequence broken. Confirmation replaces Eucharist as culmination of initiation. BEC becomes B (Penance) E C. 1900 The Liturgical Movement. 1896-1980 Jean Piaget studies child development.

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9. Vatican II [1960-1975]

RCIA.  Restores Catechumenate.  Restores order of (adult) Initiation.  New Rite for Infants. Confirmation during Eucharist. Bishop is 'original' (rather than "ordinary") minister of Confirmation.  Baptism makes Church. 

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10. After Vatican II [1975-2050]

RCIA causes paradigm shift. Dismissal of Catechumens. Tension between two systems of Initiation. 1983 Code First Reconciliation of children & delaying infant Baptism. Dioceses begin restoring sequence BCE.  RCIC. 

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Copyright: Tom Richstatter, Franciscan Province of St. John the Baptist, Cincinnati Ohio, Order of Friars Minor. All Rights Reserved.  This page was created by Fr. Thomas Richstatter, O.F.M.  Every effort has been, and is being made, to acknowledge sources when the ideas are not my own.  Any failure to comply with the United States Copyright Act (Title 17, United States Code) will be corrected immediately should I become aware of it.  This site was updated on 05/15/15 .  Your comments on this site are welcome at trichstatter@franciscan.org