Q. 1. What is the Rite of Election?
A. 1. The Rite of Election is celebrated in the Catholic Cathedrals throughout the countries at the beginning of Lent each year.
The Rite of Election is the second liturgical step in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. It ends the period fo the catechumenate and begins the period of purification and enlightment. It is an episcopal liturgy that will be administered by the local Bishop or his delegate.
The Rite of Election is a very important step for those who want to be admitted into the Holy Catholic Church that will prepare them to receive the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and the Eucharist at Easter. Once the candidates have completed their formation in the Catholic faith, the local Bishop will choose them and elect them in the name of Jesus and of the local Church to which they belong.
During the Rite of Election, the testimony of the Godparents and the catechists is heard. The Catechumens reaffirm their desire to follow in the footsteps of Christ by entering the Catholic Church. It is a time when the readiness of the candidates is discerned for the Sacraments of initiation.
The Rite of Election is only for the unbaptised. Those who are already baptised, God's holy and chosen people, are known as His elect. Therefore, those who are already baptised, do not qualify for the Rite of Election.
The Rite of Election is the candidate's journey towards full initiation in the Roman Catholic Church. This event marks the time in the life of the catechumens when they declare their intention. On Behalf of the Catholic Church, the Bishop recognizes God's call to them and proclaims that they are ready to celebrate the Easter mysteries after the final period of preparation.
During the Rite of Election, each of the participants in the Rite will have a specific message to announce, these being the catechumens, the Godparents, the RCIA Team and the Church through the Bishop.
The Rite of Election reveals the work of God in our midst. It proclaims that the members of the Church, the faithful, are witnesses to and announce the Good News that God is with us. [Mt. 1:23]
The Rite of Election is the moment when the Bishop will ask, “Do you wish to enter fully into the life of the Church through the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and the Eucharist?” The candidates respond “We do.”
Then they inscribe their names in the Book of the Elect. This means that they have heard God call their name and wish to respond to His call.