What does initiation mean in the vocabulary of Christian theology ? Is this word the equivalent of the initiation rites of ancient religions, whose first concern is to insert young people into the reality of adult social life ? Christianity offers another vision of this issue : initiation opens one to a new life, the Kingdom of God, and this is accomplished through the sacraments. By affirming this, the Church provides a key for evaluating the specific relationship between the present world (« nature ») and the irruption of the new world (the « Kingdom of God ») : nature is the sign of grace. Rupture as much as newness, initiation establishes a relation of otherness between the two domains, as a sign is entirely oriented towards the otherness of the reality that it must designate.
The rite is a social act which is programmed and repetitive. The ritual is a sum of organized gestures and words which when spoken, are above our means of human understanding. The rite is a symbolic act which allows each one of us to find a place as a subject in relation to the world and one owns world. The sacrament is a meeting point between two aspirations and is concerned by all the questions regarding the teenage world : the wish of God to share his life with man and the wish of man who acknowledges that he is meeting God and will confirm it by a gesture in that case the Confirmation.