Once upon a time this was going to be an article for the Newsletter but lack of space prevented pen being put on paper or fingers to keyboard. The article is about finding resources on the web. It makes more sense to put it on the web and maybe at this time of year you may have time to follow the links and even add your own suggestions.
The complete text of the Rite is not available on the web. There are two reasons for this. The first is copyright. The second is about technology – one of the effects of the internet is that we expect everything to be available but to be available someone has to put it there. RCIA predates the common use of computers – there is no handy electronic text of the rite. So it would first need to be typed up.
All the introductions of the Rite are available on the Liturgy Office website. There is a project to include the Introductions to all the rites on the website. Even if you do not have a copy of the book you can be familiar with the Introduction. The Introductions to the revised Rites provide the theological underpinning, practical guidance and areas for adaptation.
The Jerusalem Bible is again not available on the web for similar reasons to the Rite I expect. The New Jerusalem Bible can be found at Catholic Online. This is not a site I have explored that much- the Bible seems well done. There seem to be quite a few ‘pop-ups’. I am not sure how much is based on American Catholic Culture but I did discover that A & E stood for Arts and Entertainment rather than emergency prayers!
The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) will be the core text of a new published version of the Lectionary. The Oremus Bible Browser provides excellent online access. For example, you can, at the click of button, show the text with verse numbers or not – which makes it great for copying.
For some guidance about copyright and how much you can use at one time without need to seek permission see the Liturgy Office website.
One of the great, unsung, ecumenical advances of the last 10 years has been the adoption by many non-Catholic Churches of the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL). This is based on our Roman (or Common) Lectionary. Though the ‘revised’ parts means that it does use some different principles for choosing readings for the majority of readings on the majority of Sundays we are sharing in a communion of the Word. One of the consequences of this is that there is a wealth of resources on the web based on the RCL. To give just one example the Revised Common Lectionary website has not just the texts but images as well.
Two other Lectionary resources that may be useful for those who have people for whom English is not their first language. The Vienna International Religious Centre provides the readings in a variety of European languages including eastern European. The English text appears to use the Jerusalem Bible (unacknowledged). The Department of Tourism of the Spanish Bishops’ Conference offers a similar service. I am uncertain what English version is used (it’s not JB, NJB, RSV, NRSV or NAB).
Images can be subject to copyright in the same way as text and music. It is easy to find images which are either copyright-free or where the owner gives permission for their use. Key to finding such images are Creative Commons. This is a system which allows people to show if their work can be used by others. The owner can distinguish whether or not the work should attributed to the author, that the use should be non-commercial, whether changes can be made and finally if the user should make their own work available in the same way as the original. The image at the beginning of this paragraph has a license that states that I can freely use the work and even change it if I wish but I have to attribute to the photographer. If you hover your cursor over the image you should see the title and photographer.
Creative Commons has its own search site which allows you to find images, text, video and music. It does this by using search engines such as google and checking whether what you are looking for they have a CC license. My two favourite sources for images are Fickr and Wikimedia Commons. Flickr is a photosharing site and is great for finding images that can spark the imagination. Wikimedia is better for finding classic art.
Why not add good resources you have come across in the comments.