The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is a journey toward becoming a full, participating member of the Catholic Church. This modern rite was restored in the late 1970s, in the wake of the Second Vatican Council, but it is based on the ancient "order of catechumens," which dates to the earliest years of the church's history.
RCIA is a faith formation process designed primarily for adults who have not been baptized in any faith and are intentionally seeking God in their lives. Additionally, it is for those baptized in other faiths, as well as baptized Catholics who have never completed their sacraments of initiation, specifically confirmation and Eucharist.
Those who seek God as an adult have an opportunity to foster a closer relationship with him. RCIA helps people develop that relationship and discover great spiritual growth. Instructors teaching the fullness of the faith and relating it to Holy Scriptures serve as guides. Individuals are aided by personal sponsors and a community of individuals with the shared interest of seeking out and coming to know God more closely.
The RCIA program guides the catechumen or candidate through four periods of development and three rites. Each rite marks the transition from one period to the next.