Rite of Election/Acceptance

All -

I have a question regarding the "Rite of Election". I am a Confirmandi going through the RCIA process and was told that I would need to participate on the Rite of Election at the Cathedral in February. To the best of my understanding, this Rite is for those who have not been baptized (catechumines) . Additionally, if I am to understand properly, there is a parallel "Rite of Acceptance" in which the Candidates are called forward. For this reason, having already been baptized and being accepted by the Church, received my First Holy Communion, where do I fit in to this??
I am very confused by this and several other things that have been said that the RCIA meetings (this is a parish which I joined just a year ago).

Thanks for your help!

i was told that i have to participate in this as well even though i have been baptized. but i was also told that i do not need to participate in the next phase after that, i am though because i may learn something new.

Only the unbaptized or catechumens participate in the rite of Election on the first SUnday of Lent. The rite of Acceptance is also only for the unbaptized as that is when they become catechumens.

There are parallel rites for candidates - the Rite of Welcoming done when they become candidates and the Call to Continuing Conversion which is done usually the second Sunday of Lent but can be combined with the Rite of Election. It is important to note that the baptized DO NOT sign the Book of the Elect. That is for Catechumens only.

As Joannm notes the Candidates and Catechumens participate in different rites at the sending and Election/Recognition. However, these are usually combined in the same ceremony. That is, it is done at the same time, but they are treated separately.

The next step is the Scrutinies for the Catechumens on the 3rd, 4th and 5th Sundays of Lent. These are ancient ceremonies at masses with their own propers [changeable prayers for the mass] and use the cycle A readings.

Some places will have a separate Scrutiny of the Candidates, usually on the 2nd Sunday. This is done at the standard mass for that Sunday.

Technically you do not fit into RCIA at all. You are A Catholic seeking Confirmation. Only those seeking Baptism participate in the Rite of Acceptance. Only Catechumens theose seeking Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Communion participate in the Rite of Election. Only non-Catholic christians seeking full union with the Catholic Church participate in the Rite of Welcome and the optional Rite of Continuing Conversion. You should NOT participate in any of these Rites, you are already Catholic!

The RCIA introductions for England and Wales are at catholic-ew.org.uk/liturgy/Resources/Rites/RiteRitual.html#RCIA . The USA edition has different paragraph numbers.

The section that seems to apply to you has the title: “4 PREPARATION OF UNCATECHIZED ADULTS FOR CONFIRMATION AND EUCHARIST”.

It begins: “376 The following pastoral guidelines concern adults who were baptised as infants but did not receive further catechetical formation nor, consequently, the sacraments of confirmation and eucharist.”

So you could argue that this does not apply to you, since you have received the sacrament of eucharist. But in the liturgical book, Rite of Confirmation, it has in the introduction: “12. … In the case of adults, those principles are to be followed, with the required adaptations, that apply in the individual dioceses to admitting catechumens to baptism and eucharist. Measures are to be taken especially for the catechesis preceding confirmation and for the association of the candidates with the Christian community and with individual Christians. …”. (From The Rites Volume One, Liturgical Press, 1990, ISBN: 0-8146-6015-0, page 483.) So whether the preparation is for just Confirmation, or Confirmation and Eucharist, does not matter much.

Some of the things in the section of the RCIA liturgical book are:
“377. … A programme of training, catechesis suited to their needs, contact with the community of the faithful, and participation in
certain liturgical rites are needed in order to strengthen them in the Christian life.”
“378 For the most part the plan of catechesis corresponds to the one laid down for catechumens …”
“382 Once a rite of reception has been celebrated, these adults take part in celebrations of the word of God, both those of the entire Christian assembly and those celebrations arranged
specially for the benefit of the catechumens …
383 As a sign of God’s activity in this work of preparation, some of the rites belonging to the catechumenate, especially suited to the condition and spiritual needs of these baptised adults, can be used to advantage. Among these are the presentation of the Creed (nos. 144- 149) and of the Lord’s Prayer (nos. 165-169) or also a presentation of a book of the Gospels”…
“385 The high point of their entire formation will normally be the Easter Vigil.At that time they will make a profession of the faith in which they were baptised, receive the sacrament of confirmation, and take part in the eucharist.”

[quote="Br.Rich_SFO, post:5, topic:182464"]
Technically you do not fit into RCIA at all. You are A Catholic seeking Confirmation. Only those seeking Baptism participate in the Rite of Acceptance. Only Catechumens theose seeking Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Communion participate in the Rite of Election. Only non-Catholic christians seeking full union with the Catholic Church participate in the Rite of Welcome and the optional Rite of Continuing Conversion. You should NOT participate in any of these Rites, you are already Catholic!

[/quote]

That's correct, if you were baptized Catholic.

Genuine question from a candidate: Is there any harm in participating in these technically inaccurately applied rites if asked/expected to?

Technically yes, you are saying that you are looking forward to becoming Catholic, you can’t wait until you become a Catholic? You ARE ALREADY a CATHOLIC!

[quote="Br.Rich_SFO, post:5, topic:182464"]
Technically you do not fit into RCIA at all. You are a Catholic seeking Confirmation. Only those seeking Baptism participate in the Rite of Acceptance. Only Catechumens theose seeking Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Communion participate in the Rite of Election. Only non-Catholic christians seeking full union with the Catholic Church participate in the Rite of Welcome and the optional Rite of Continuing Conversion. You should NOT participate in any of these Rites, you are already Catholic!

[/quote]

Thanks, but if you check it out, almost all Archdiocese require you to go through the entire RCIA process. As far as I am concerned, you're right... I am a Catholic seeking Confirmation. This is a growing problem in the Church, one which I feel needs to be addressed.

Thanks for your help guys!

Sarah

Many of these issues have needed to be addressed for the last 15 or more years and some new one’s have come up in the mean time.

[quote="Pied397, post:10, topic:182464"]
Thanks, but if you check it out, almost all Archdiocese require you to go through the entire RCIA process. As far as I am concerned, you're right... I am a Catholic seeking Confirmation. This is a growing problem in the Church, one which I feel needs to be addressed.

Thanks for your help guys!

Sarah

[/quote]

The problem is often a lack of resources.

Ideally there would be separate programs or groups for catechumens, candidates, Catholics seeking confirmation, returning Catholics, and practicing Catholics who want to learn more about their faith.

In practice, all of these people (or various combinations of them) end up thrown together simply because there aren't people to run separate groups. It doesn't necessarily serve people well but it serves them somewhat. The practicing Catholic who wants more background really isn't in the same situation as a catechumen who may know next to nothing. And the needs of someone returning to the Church may be very different from someone converting from a Protestant background.

Parishes either need more volunteers (preferably with catechetical certification or theology degrees) or more money to hire qualified staff to do all this. But that doesn't seem to happen.

Hello everyone, As I am to embark on the Second Ritual Step - Rite of Election on the 1st Sunday of Lent. I would like to know what experiences all those have had during this process. Reading some posts some of you say that you are told to leave after a certain point during the mass because we have not been presented with the creed as yet.

My two boys are both Altar Servers for our parish and my eldest son has for years, they both attend St Josephs Catholic Primary School here and my husband was baptised a Catholic at Birth. So I am very familiar with mass and attend quite frequently but only to recieve a blessing. This is my reason for enduring this lengthy process to be closer to God and receive his gifts of the Holy Eucharist and for our family to be the same religion and become complete.

I'm just a little frightened of the thought of of the 3 scrutinies all which seem to be a little hush hush for myself and my catecumen partner...We attend a small parish so the thought of getting up amongst everyone to be on display for both of us is becoming a little daunting as we are both quite shy... I'm just so glad I'm not doin this alone...

I am certainly getting so excited by the closeness of our celebration...I have not told all my family yet either because some are Church of England and will try to persuade me to think otherwise...I know this is what I want...the Catholic religion I have known for years and have grown to love everything about it...Now I just want to be accepted as one instead of the looks I get for only getting blessed...But these 3 scrutinies have left me wondering what is going to happen after I become the Elect....Please enlighten me but not frighten me....Thankyou all...

God Bless x

What you, as a baptized Candidate, will be receiving, is the Rite of Calling to Continuing Conversion. Although it’s done directly after the Rite of Election, which is for the unbaptized participants, it’s a separate Rite, and it’s intended particularly for those baptized persons who will be continuing their process of RCIA through the Lenten period.

What will happen is that your sponsor will answer some questions from the Bishop on your behalf, and then you will be presented to the Bishop. Follow your local custom as to whether you shake his hand or kiss his ring. He will say a few words of encouragement to you, and welcome you to the next phase of your journey into the Church.

There is nothing for you to need to memorize, or anything like that. Just be yourself, and respond appropriately to whatever is being said to you. It is supposed to be a joyful occasion. :slight_smile:

[quote="Mistyjazz, post:13, topic:182464"]
Hello everyone, As I am to embark on the Second Ritual Step - Rite of Election on the 1st Sunday of Lent. I would like to know what experiences all those have had during this process. Reading some posts some of you say that you are told to leave after a certain point during the mass because we have not been presented with the creed as yet.

My two boys are both Altar Servers for our parish and my eldest son has for years, they both attend St Josephs Catholic Primary School here and my husband was baptised a Catholic at Birth. So I am very familiar with mass and attend quite frequently but only to recieve a blessing. This is my reason for enduring this lengthy process to be closer to God and receive his gifts of the Holy Eucharist and for our family to be the same religion and become complete.

[/quote]

That's awesome! :)

I'm just a little frightened of the thought of of the 3 scrutinies all which seem to be a little hush hush for myself and my catecumen partner...We attend a small parish so the thought of getting up amongst everyone to be on display for both of us is becoming a little daunting as we are both quite shy... I'm just so glad I'm not doin this alone...

You'll be fine. Again, nothing for you to memorize, or worry about. There will be some beautiful prayers said for you, and the people will be reminded to continue to pray for you as you journey ever more deeply in to the Church. :)

actually, no they don’t, but plenty of the people in individual parishes who have been given this responsibility yet no proper training do it this way. Until bishops and pastors place the proper priority on adult sacramental preparation my guess is this situation will continue. However rest easy, nobody was ever hurt by having an extra prayer said for them even if it was not the appropriate prayer or blessing for the occasion, and none of this is the candidate’s responsibility. Again, ask questions and keep asking them until you get a good answer.

Do people baptized as infants need to participate in hte “Rite of Election”?

I was baptized Catholic as an infant, strayed, didn’t get confirmed, then had a strong conversion call that I’m following by going through RCIA.

I hope to be rebaptized as a consenting adult at the church (I understand this is separate from RCIA/Catechisis) as well.

Also, is this “rite of election” when someone’s name is officially recorded in the “Book of life” or “The book of the Elect” (and could someone please describe the difference between these two to me?) or when one becomes one of “the elect”?

Thanks in advance :smiley:

EDIT*****

Sorry, I just re-read the thread and saw a few of my questions answered or touched on in certain ways. I will leave my original post unmodififed though.

If you were baptized Catholic as an infant you will not be rebaptized – there is just one Baptism for the remission of sins. You will, however, renew your baptismal vows as an adult before you are confirmed.

The Book of the Elect is where those adults seeking to be baptized sign their names.

In our parish, “The Book of Life” is what we call the book where we write all the names of all our deceased (parishioners and friends & family of parishioners) we wish us to pray for during the month of November.

No. You also will not be rebaptized. The Sacrament that removes sins committed after Baptism is the Sacrament of Reconciliation, also commonly called “Confession.”

As a baptized Catholic adult, you can make your First Confession any time you want. Your RCIA team will also most likely provide an opportunity for all of the baptized to make their First Confession shortly before the Confirmation ceremony on Easter Vigil. (We typically do ours on the morning of the same day.)

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