On the 1st Sunday of Lent, the “Rite of Election” was celebrated for the first time as a diocesan liturgy, as five adults entered the final stage of their initiation journey.

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Our pictures show the five adult candidates along with their godparents and members of their parishes at the Rite of Election ceremony in Carlow Cathedral at which Bishop Moriarty was the presider.

The five candidates – Donna, Grace, Daniel, Anna and Jacob – come from the parishes of St. Mullins, Naas, Newbridge and the Cathedral.

Enrolment of Names

At the heart of Sundays celebration was the enrolment of the adults names into the Book of the Elect. After a number of readings and hymns, the five catechumens were called forward by name, together with their godparents. Their Godparents affirmed that the catechumens were ready to begin this final part of their preparations. The Bishop then invited Donna, Grace, Daniel, Anna and Jacob to sign their names into the Book of the Elect. Prayers were then offered for them, their Godparents and families.

At the end of the prayer service Bishop Jim invited all who had gathered for a cup of tea in the parish centre. Before heading over to the centre there was plenty of time for photographs and chat as people from the different parishes mingled and met one another.

As a diocese we continue to pray for and support all those adults across the diocese who celebrated this rite in the Cathedral and elsewhere as their make their final preparations for full initiation into the Church this Easter.

Catechumens, the Elect, and the Rite of Election

The Rite of Election is one of the Rites associated with the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) a ritual process primarily intended for those who are unbaptised and who are preparing for the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist.

In the RCIA process, the unbaptised are called catechumens. The final phase of preparation for catechumens typically begins on the First Sunday of Lent prior to the Easter Vigil at which their initiation is celebrated.

The Rite of Election is the ritual that marks the beginning of this final phase of preparation. While the journey of preparation is centred in the local parish community, this rite usually takes place in the cathedral, since the cathedral is the mother church of the diocese.

Those who participate in the Rite of Election are now called the elect. The Church recognises them as the elect of God; those who have been chosen by God  or elected  for the sacraments of initiation.