On Saturday the 4th March a good number of those preparing to either enter into full communion with the church or wish to be baptised attended the rite of election at Lancaster Cathedral. This group of people have weekly been attending the RICA programme in our parish.
The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) is a formal program of catechetical instruction, ascetically practice (prayer and spirituality), and liturgies whereby adults called catechumens are formally admitted into the Church and receive the Sacraments of Initiation Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Eucharist. (The Sacrament of Penance is received later since baptism washes away all sin original sin and actual sin.) The “Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy” of the Second Vatican Council decreed, “The catechumenate for adults, comprising several distinct steps, is to be restored and brought into use at the discretion of the local ordinary (Bishop).
This is what the Bishop had to say on his blog about the Rite of Election
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 .It is also an occasion of joy to these individuals’ families, friends and local fellow-parishioners and clergy who work to accompany their journey of faith. 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 (for us the Diocese of Lancaster) to which they belong. 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.”