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The Catechism Lesson (1890), by Jules-Alexis Meunier
Wikimedia Commons

Catechumens, from the Greek κατηχούμενοι, meaning “instructed ones”, are those undergoing instruction in preparation for their baptism into the Christian church. In the early Church, catechumens were either assigned a special place during services or obliged to watch from the narthex,Porch or vestibule before the main entrance to a Christian church. but were dismissed before the eucharist proper began.[1] The first part of the eucharist, which the catechumens were allowed to witness, has therefore been dubbed the Mass of the Catechumens, or the ante-communion.[2]

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Bibliography


Campbell, Gordon. “Catechumens.” The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, edited by Andrew Louth, Online, Oxford University Press, 2022, https://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/acref/9780199642465.001.0001/acref-9780199642465-e-1295.
Louth, Andrew. “Catechumens, Mass of The.” The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, Online, Oxford University Press, 2022, https://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/acref/9780199642465.001.0001/acref-9780199642465-e-1296.