A Joyful Journey of Faith - Rite of Election, Arundel Cathedral
Arundel Cathedral was filled on 4 March, the Saturday after Ash Wednesday, when several hundred people from all parts of Surrey and Sussex were welcomed by Bishop Richard to the annual Rite of Election, a ceremony of prayer, music and readings.
This is a key stage of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) when the 48 Catechumens, those to be baptised, and the 95 Candidates, those who are already baptised, publicly declare their intention to become full members of the Church, watched by their godparents, sponsors, catechists, priests and families.
Similar ceremonies took place in the other dioceses of England & Wales, with an estimated 3,000 people making the same declaration as part of their journey to joining the Catholic Church at Easter. Similarly, the rite was celebrated throughout the UK and elsewhere in the world.
Following the Introductory Rites and the Liturgy of the Word, Bishop Richard welcomed the candidates, thanking them and saying ‘You are a sign and a witness already.’ However, he cautioned them that their journey in the faith would require perseverance and stickability, as things in modern society will try to take them in other directions. He added, ‘you must be open to the Holy Spirit’ in this increasingly secular and materialistic age.
We wish them every blessing as they moved towards their baptisms and reception at Easter.