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There is evidence for both pre- and post-baptismal instruction in the early church. The Didache includes teaching to precede baptism. Hippolytus's Apostolic Tradition indicates that an organized catechumenate was well developed in Rome by the early third century. The catechumenate declined in the fifth and sixth centuries with the spread of infant baptism. However, in recent years there has been a renewal of interest in the catechumenate. The BOS provides a form for the Preparation of Adults for Holy Baptism, along with a lengthy explanation Concerning the Catechumenate. 

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.
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