“This Rite of Election which we celebrate with you today is a celebration of your hope and trust in Jesus Christ, to whom you turn for salvation,” said Bishop Alan. The word Election is a translation of a Latin word for Chosen.
“Today you are being elected, chosen, called to salvation. The Church rejoices with you as she numbers you amongst all those who have been called and chosen.
“These holy days of Lent are a time of final preparation for you. They will reach their climax at the great Vigil of Easter. As catechumens you will be baptised and confirmed, As Candidates you will be confirmed.
“During these weeks of Lent, together with the whole Church, you are being called first to turn to the Lord, to keep your eyes fixed on Jesus Christ. You are being called to deepen your commitment to Him and to grow in holiness. In fact you are being called to become saints of God.
“This call is not just for special people – but for everyone. We are all called to become like Jesus Christ, the Son of God – to imitate the One who gave his life to God and for the whole world,” said Bishop Alan.
The following parishes were represented at the Rite of Election: St John’s Norwich, Bury St Edmunds, OLEM in Cambridge, Mother of Good Counsel Clare, St Wulstan in Costessey, St Henry in Diss, St Peter Gorleston, St Mary Yarmouth, St Michael in Huntingdon, St Mary Magdalene Ipswich, St Mary Lowestoft, Sacred Heart in North Walsham, St Peter and All Souls in Peterborough, Our Lady of Lourdes Sawston, St John Fisher Cambourne and St Joseph in Sheringham and Our Lady of Refuge in Cromer.
The Rite of Election, held on March 6, marks an important stage along the journey to undergo the final stages of RCIA (Rite of Catholic Initiation of Adults) and prepare to be baptised and confirmed, or to be received into the full Communion of the Church and confirmed. They will also receive the Eucharist for the first time, both of which take place at the Easter Vigil.
Catechumens are adults who have never been baptised and seek to becomes members of the Catholic Church through the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and the Eucharist. Candidates are adults who have been baptised in one of the Christian denominations and now seek to become members of the Catholic Church through the Rite of Reception, whereby they will receive the Sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist.
Pictured above is Bishop Alan Hopes with all the catechumens and candidates at the Rite of Election in Norwich.