At the heart of our Christian life is the understanding that each of us is called by God. We recall the words of Christ who said “You did not choose me, no I chose you”. Not only does Christ choose, he calls us and knows us by name. Both of these are encapsulated in the Rite of Election which is celebrated in Catholic cathedrals throughout our countries at the beginning of Lent each year.
The Rite of Election is a significant step for those who want to be received into the Catholic Church – preparing to receive the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and the Eucharist at Easter.
After the candidates have completed their formation in the Catholic faith, the Rite of Election is celebrated by the local Bishop who chooses them and elects them in the name of the Lord and of the local Church to which they belong. Election in our contemporary culture often signifies a contest or our choosing something or somebody.
The Rite of Election is not about the candidates choosing the Sacraments of Initiation, rather, as in scriptural tradition, it is about God’s choice of the person. For Christians this is the call to embrace the mission of Jesus, the mission of God’s Kingdom. The call, the election, of the Church embodies in human voice the call of God to which the candidates have already responded. They are then asked to express their response here and now in the presence of the Church “Do you wish to enter fully into the life of the Church through the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and the Eucharist?” They respond “We do.” The candidates then inscribe their names in the Book of the Elect. This signifies that they have heard God call their name and wish to respond to his call.
As a parish, we are blessed to have five candidates – Marcel Kozma, Jan Hughes, Brita Coleman, Nuriye Arslantas and Laura Hutchinson – who have been listening to, discerning and responding to God’s call in their lives and will be received into full Communion with the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil.
Please keep them in your prayers during this time.