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Rites of Welcome and Election

Rite of Welcome

 

On January 28th, our parish celebrated the Rite of Acceptance of two parishioners who became catechumens, formally on their way toward Christian initiation at Easter through Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist. Their journey will continue to intensify as we go through Lent in preparation, and the whole Church joins with them in solidarity through their own preparation, renewing their own relationship with the Lord, first begun in their baptism.

 

This Sunday at our 11am Mass, our parish will be celebrating the Rite of Welcome. Similar in some ways to the Rite of Acceptance, it differs in that our community does not “accept” the intention of those catechumens who seek Christian initiation at Easter. Rather, our community “welcomes” one who is already belonging through baptism, though not yet in full communion. Recognising that other Christians are brothers and sisters through baptism, we “welcome” those who, having been baptised in another denomination, now desire to complete their initiation with Confirmation and Eucharist, and share fully in our Catholic way of life. Please keep our candidate, Nicole, in your prayers as she deepens her own baptismal faith this Lent and prepares to be received into full communion with the Catholic Church in the near future. 

 

Rite of Election

 

This Sunday our parish is sending 3 individuals to St. Boniface Cathedral for the Rite of Election. Tory and Wayne as Catechumens, and Nicole as a Candidate, along with their sponsors from our parish community are invited to a special liturgy of prayer with our Archbishop, called the Rite of Election. The Rite of Election actually gathers catechumens and candidates from parishes all over our Archdiocese for this occasion, which occurs every year on the first Sunday of Lent. Anyone is welcome to attend and join in prayer as well. Here, Catechumens indicate their desire to join the Church by signing the Book of the Elect, giving them the title “members of the elect.” 

 

The word “election” in this case has nothing to do with politics; rather, it is a discernment that God is present in the life of the catechumens and is inviting them into a fuller life of the sacraments. The “elect” is commonly found throughout the Scriptures to refer to God’s chosen people who have a special relationship with God. The bishop, who presides over the Rite of Election, accepts the parish community’s judgement over those sent for the Rite of Election, receives the catechumens, and invites them to enter their names in the Book of the Elect. It is a time of more prayer and encouragement for them and their sponsors. 

 

The Rite of Election also serves as an occasion of prayer for those who are already baptised, but who seek reception into full communion with the Catholic Church. As baptised Candidates, it is an invitation and call to continuing conversion, deepening their relationship in faith with the Lord, which already began at their baptism. They and their sponsors are encouraged to continue in their faith journey which would culminate in their being Confirmed and received the Eucharist after a profession of faith.


 

We rejoice to witness God’s work in people’s lives, privileged to be fellow workers in the vineyard of the Lord. Let us join in solidarity and love with our candidate: Nicole, and catechumens: Tory and Wayne, as they prepare themselves for God’s grace more fully in the sacraments, journeying together with increased prayer, fasting, and almsgiving toward Holy Week.

 

Praying for a fruitful season of Lent for all our parishioners.

 

Fr. Brian Trueman

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