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1. One who is being taught the principles of Christianity.
2. One who is being instructed in a subject at an elementary level.

[Middle English cathecumine, from Old French catechumene, from Latin catēchūmenus, from Greek katēkhoumenos, present passive participle of katēkhein, to instruct; see catechize.]


(Ecclesiastical Terms) Christianity a person, esp in the early Church, undergoing instruction prior to baptism
[C15: via Old French, from Late Latin, from Greek katēkhoumenos one being instructed verbally, from katēkhein; see catechize]
ˌcateˈchumenal, catechumenical adj
ˌcateˈchumenate n
ˌcateˈchumenism n


(ˌkæt ɪˈkyu mən)

1. a person under instruction in the rudiments of Christianity; neophyte.
2. a person being taught the rudiments of any subject.
[1325–75; Middle English cathecumyn < Middle French cathecumine < Late Latin catēchūmenus < Greek katēchoúmenos]
catechism, catechumen - Catechism comes from Latin catechismus, "instruction by word of mouth," and is literally a series of questions and answers; a catechumen is a young Christian preparing for confirmation.
See also related terms for instruction.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.catechumen - a new convert being taught the principles of Christianity by a catechist
educatee, pupil, student - a learner who is enrolled in an educational institution
References in periodicals archive ?
People, evidently in increasing numbers, applied to become catechumens in preparation for baptism, and the churches adjusted to their growing numbers by shifting their main weekly meeting from meal-based services on Saturday evenings to Eucharistic services on Sunday mornings.
Under Augustine's direction, the catechumens vowed to prepare for baptism through intensive study of the liberal arts.
Baptism of blood was the one of persons who were martyred for committing themselves to Christ, even though they had not yet been baptized-such as the catechumens, who in the early Christian centuries had to go through a long instruction period before being baptized.
Bingham believed in fully immersing catechumens in water.
Immediately obvious are the catechumens being elected for baptism, confirmation, and Eucharist at the Easter Vigil, but other types of initiates variably populate Ash Wednesday's assemblies as well: youngsters preparing to receive first Communion during the seven Sundays of Easter, teens preparing for the sacrament of confirmation to be celebrated at some point in the 50 days, parents and godparents looking forward to the baptism of infants on either Easter or subsequent Sundays, adults or older children entering into full communion in the church, and the seriously sick and elderly who would benefit from a celebration of the sacrament of anointing during Mass on one of the Sundays in the Easter Season.
8) However, those catechumens and the penitents who cannot take part in the liturgical offering of the gifts of bread and wine or in the partaking of the eucharist are accepted within the community and prayed for in the early part of the liturgy.
After receiving testimony from their godparents, the bishop will invite the participants, known as catechumens, to confirm their desire to join the church by signing their names in the Book of Elect.
Even as we accompany our catechumens in the process of Christian initiation' today's readings remind us that Jesus' mission is ever-expansive.
8) By 1872, there were around 300 converts and 100 catechumens among the 1,700 inhabitants of Thio (Delbos 1993: 179), and the entire population of Borendy would be converted by 1877 (ibid.
What is more, it is remarkable that just as the appearance of a heavenly angel was only an extraordinary means for observance of an established way of piety--calling for an earthly messenger of God, an earthly mediator of supreme truth and life--so, too, precisely following Peter's preaching at the house of Cornelius an unusual and abundant pouring out of the gifts of the Holy Spirit upon the new catechumens did not make superfluous for them the usual, so to speak, organic method of the specifically mystical beginning of a life of grace--through baptism (ibid, the end of the chapter [Acts 10:47-48]).
This book has added value as a resource for faith formation, prayer groups, and RCIA catechumens.
Parts of Hebrews have been identified with a baptismal liturgy or sermon delivered to catechumens as they prepared for baptism.