Saturday, February 20, 2010
Rite of Election
This weekend, we will witness the first part of the Rite of Election in our parish. The Rite of Election is the second rite to be celebrated in the RCIA process. The catechumens who are preparing to receive the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation & Eucharist) during the Easter Vigil mass have completed a period of catechesis known as the Catechumenate.
The first part of this rite will be celebrated at the weekend masses of our Parish, English and BM group(sunset mass), Tamil group(Tamil Mass) and Mandarin group (Mandarin Mass). The first part of this rite is also called the Rite of Sending or the Rite of Enrollment of Names. As our parish is not the Cathedral Parish or the parish where the Bishop will be enrolling the names of the Elect (the new name given to the catechumens), as in the case of this year (Holy Family Parish in Kajang will host the archdiocesan level Rite of Election), the candidates will be prepared with this Rite of Sending.
At the Rite of Sending, the parish prepares to send the candidates to meet with the Bishop who will receive them at the Rite of Election. The Rite of Election is a testimony of their faithfulness to this process in the past year or so. This act of sending is done by the whole parish. Therefore, it is celebrated within the mass in the presence of sponsors and RCIA Facilitators. Another integral part of this ceremony is the signing of the book of the elect. As the candidates sign this book they will signify that they are prepared to seal their covenant with God.
On the First Sunday of Lent, the bishop will then receive contingents from all parishes with catechumens. The catechumens will then be presented to him by their sponsors who will attest that they have completed their Catechumenate formation. The sponsors will also affirm that these candidates have experienced a true conversion of heart, mind and soul. As the bishop signs the same book that was signed by the candidates in the first part of the Rite of Election (or the Rite of Sending), he is receiving the candidates into our family of Christ. The candidates are now called the “elect” and have been elected to receive the sacraments of initiation at the Easter Vigil mass.
The elect will now be given a more intense spiritual formation during the season of Lent. They will undergo further Rites of Scrutinies and Exorcism, a period of purification and enlightenment. Let us continue to support them in our prayers.