“I especially welcome those of you who are not yet baptised,” said Bishop Alan. “You are now entering that final and more intense stage of your preparation, to receive the sacraments of initiation at Easter, and be welcomed into the family of God, the Church. I also welcome those of you who are already baptised, who are being welcomed into the full communion of the Catholic Church at Easter.”
Bishop Alan spoke of the opportunity which the 40 days of Lent provided to “journey with Jesus to the cross”. He said that the Rite of Election was “a celebration of your hope and trust in Jesus Christ to whom you are turning for salvation”.
The word ‘election’, he explained, was “a translation of the Latin word for ‘chosen’. Today you are being elected. You are being chosen. You are being called to salvation. And that is why the Church rejoices with you.”
“During the days of Lent,” he added, “you are being called to become saints of God…the Lord is calling you to become His witnesses.”
The Rite of Election, held on February 21, marks an important stage along their journey as they 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 at this year’s Rite of Election