Saturday 9 February 2008

The Rite of Election

This afternoon people came from many parts of the Diocese for the annual Rite of Election. In this service some of those who will become Catholic at Easter are formally accepted by the Bishop at this important stage in their journey of faith.

The names of Catechumens (those who are to be baptised) and of Candidates (those already baptised but not Catholic) are registered in the 'Book of the Elect', which is presented to the Bishop. Their names are then read out, and they are invited to stand with their sponsors, who commit themselves to helping the candidates.

Each then comes forward to briefly meet the Bishop, and then stands on the Sanctuary until all are present. The people invited to this day are following the RCIA programme (the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults), but there are many others around the Diocese preparing to become Catholic in a more informal way. During Lent especially, we keep them in our prayers, along with children and young people in our parish preparing to receive the sacraments of Reconciliation, Holy Communion and Confirmation later this year.