Although Sunday was the First Sunday of the penitential season of Lent, it was also a day of great sunshine and much joy for the diocese as we gathered at St. David’s Cathedral for the annual Rite of Election and formally presented to the Archbishop those to be baptised (Catechumens) and those to be received into Full Communion with the Church (Candidates) this coming Easter.
In all seventy people were presented to Archbishop George from most parts of the diocese. They each expressed their commitment to moving forward for reception of the Sacraments this Easter and their sponsors committed to helping them in the continual development of their faith. The Catechumens ‘signed on the dotted line’ by signing the book of the Elect. From this point forward the period of preparation intensifies as the Elect and the Candidates enter the period of ‘Purification and Enlightenment’ affirming what is holy and rejecting what is sinful. From now until Easter they will go through ‘scrutinies’ and are formally presented with a copy of the Creed and the Lord’s Prayer – the two key statements of our faith.
During the ceremony Archbishop George reminded everyone of the history of the Rite. Although the Rite has evolved, this ceremony along with the other parts of the R.C.I.A. has its roots in the practice of the Early Church. Those wishing to become Christians would progress along the path of faith in stages. Those stages would be as short or as long as required for both the adult and the Christian community to discern the call of God in the person’s life. They were given names such as ‘Catechumens’ to identify them as those moving forward towards the Christian life but also to protect them during times of persecution.
As a diocese we continue to hold our Elect and our Candidates in prayer as they journey towards the Sacraments within the Catholic Church.