Presentation of the Creed and The Lord’s Prayer

The Creed and the Lord’s Prayer are the heart of our faith. They embody what we believe and how we are to pray, which is why special liturgies are designed to hand on or to present both in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults.

Since the early centuries, the Creed and the Lord’s Prayer have been presented to the elect in the weeks prior to Easter to help them prepare for baptism. Even today we present them just before Easter since their baptism will be preceded by a profession of faith using the words of the Creed and their sharing in the Eucharist will be preceded by their participation in praying the Lord’s Prayer.

The Presentation of the Creed RCIA 157-163

The Creed is presented to the Elect during the third week of Lent. It is preferable that it take place at a weekday Mass so that the community, who hands on their belief, can be present. In fact, the community is the primary minister of the presentation.

Special readings replace the readings of the day:

  • First Reading: Deuteronomy 6:1-7—Listen, Israel: You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart
  • Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 19— Lord, you have the words of everlasting life
  • Second Reading: Romans 10:8-13— The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart.


  • 1 Corinthians 15:1-8a—The Gospel will save you only if you keep believing what I preached to you.
  • Gospel: Matthew 16:13-18—On this rock I will build my Church


  • John 12:44-50—I, the light, have come into the world, so that whoever believes in me not remain in the dark anymore.

In the homily, the presider is expected “to explain the meaning and importance of the Creed in relation to the teaching that the elect have already received and to the profession of faith that they must make at their baptism and uphold throughout their lives.” RCIA 159

Following the homily, the elect are called forth and asked to listen as the community recites the Creed. The rite allows either the Apostles’ Creed or the Nicene Creed to be handed on.

A prayer is said over the elect and then the elect are dismissed. They are to commit the words of the Creed to memory and to return or give back the Creed to the community on Holy Saturday morning as part of the Preparation Rites of the Easter Vigil.  RCIA 193-196

The Presentation of the Lord’s Prayer RCIA 178-184

The Lord’s Prayer is presented during the fifth week of Lent. It is preferable that this presentation also take place within a weekday Mass in the presence of the community.

Special readings replace the readings of the day:

  • First Reading: Hosea 11:1b, 3-4, 8c-9—I have led you with cords of love.
  • Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 23—The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.


  • Psalm 103—As a father is kind to his children, so kind is the Lord to those who fear him.
  • Second Reading: Romans 8:14-17, 26-27—You have received the Spirit that makes you God’s children and in that Spirit we cry out, “Abba, Father!”


  • Galatians 4:4-7—God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts: the Spirit that cries, “Abba, Father!”
  • Gospel Reading: Matthew 6:9-13—The Lord’s Prayer

Before the Gospel is proclaimed, the elect are asked to listen to the Gospel where Jesus teaches his disciples the words to use in prayer, words we now call the Lord’s Prayer.

In the homily, the presider is to explain the meaning and importance of the Lord’s Prayer.

The Elect are prayed over and then dismissed.

While these presentations are designed to take place during the period of Purification and Enlightenment/Lent, they may take place in the period of the Catechumenate. Since Lent presents a full agenda with the Scrutiny Rites, and the preparations for Easter, celebrating these presentations earlier may allow the catechumens more time to reflect on and prepare for them.

While the Creed and the Lord’s Prayer are typically handed on to the unbaptized, they may be given to candidates for full communion whose faith formation has been minimal.