catechumenal, catechumenical /kat'i kyooh men"i keuhl/, adj.catechumenically, adv.catechumenate /kat'i kyooh"meuh nayt', -nit/, n.catechumenism, n.
/kat'i kyooh"meuhn/, n.
1. Eccles. a person under instruction in the rudiments of Christianity, as in the early church; a neophyte.
2. a person being taught the elementary facts, principles, etc., of any subject.
[1325-75; < LL catechumenus < Gk katechoúmenos (one who is) being taught orally, equiv. to kateche-, s. of katecheîn to teach orally (see CATECHIST) + -omenos middle prp. suffix; r. ME cathecumyn < MF cathecumine < LL, as above]

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      a person who receives instruction in the Christian religion in order to be baptized. According to the New Testament, the apostles instructed converts after baptism (Acts 2:41–42), and Christian instruction was evidently given to all converts (Luke 1:4, Acts 18:25, Galatians 6:6). As the number of Gentiles in the church increased, instruction became more definite. In the 4th century, with the rise of heresy, detailed doctrinal teaching was given. But by this time the postponement of Baptism had become general (Constantine was not baptized until he was at the point of death), and, therefore, a large proportion of Christians belonged to the catechumenate. Most of them were merely “adherents” of the church, while others were under definite instruction for baptism. As infant baptism became general, the catechumenate decreased. The baptismal rites now used are adaptations of rites intended for the reception of adult catechumens.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Catechumen — • In the early Church, was the name applied to one who had not yet been initiated into the sacred mysteries, but was undergoing a course of preparation for that purpose Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Catechumen     Catechumen …   Catholic encyclopedia

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  • catechumen — index neophyte, novice Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

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  • catechumen —   n. person receiving instruction, especially in religion.    ♦ catechumenate,    ♦ catechumenism, n. status of a catechumen    ♦ catechumenical, a …   Dictionary of difficult words

  • catechumen — noun Etymology: Middle English cathecumyn, from Late Latin catechumenus, from Greek katēchoumenos, present passive participle of katēchein Date: 15th century 1. a convert to Christianity receiving training in doctrine and …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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