Rite of Election and nervous


Today, after Mass, my priest gave me a letter regarding the annual archdiocese RCIA retreat. I’m going with my sponsor and am very much looking forward to it. Also, I have got attend the Rite of Election at our city’s cathedral on the 1st Sunday of Lent.

My questions are as follows: 1) what happens at the Rite of Election? 2) what should I wear? and 3) how should I address the Archbishop?

I am being received into the Church in Easter of this year but not sure if that’s the Easter Vigil or Easter Sunday. Thanks for all the replies of all of my other posts, I.truly appreciate it. As a former Pentecostal, I cannot wait to come home to the Church.

Please be praying for my daughters as they will be baptised on Sunday 8th February and my eldest daughter is making her First Sacrament of Reconciliation on 2nd March.

Thanks again


The group of catechumens are presented to the bishop with their godparents. The godparents are asked if the catechumens are ready for the sacraments of initiation. The bishop asks the group of catechumens if they want to enter into the life of the Church through the reception of the sacraments of initiation. Finally the bishop gives them his approval and their status changes from catechumens to the elect.

  1. what should I wear?

Whatever you would normally wear to church.

  1. how should I address the Archbishop?

You’re not really going to have a conversation with him.

I am being received into the Church in Easter of this year but not sure if that’s the Easter Vigil or Easter Sunday.

The Rite of Election is for catechumens. If you have already been baptized you will actually go through the Call to Continuing Conversion. In my archdiocese the Call to Continuing Conversion can be done either centrally at the cathedral, or separately at parishes.

Best wishes to you. The time is getting closer!


I went to the Rite of Election/Call to Continuing Conversion at Liverpool Cathedral last year, I was previously in the CofE.

The Cathedral in Liverpool is ‘in the round’, so we all went up in local groups and stood in a big circle around the altar. Our sponsors came up and stood behind us. There were so many people there it was a communal event, rather than an individual one, so don’t worry. People wore all sorts of clothes, most dressed smartly, some were very casual but I think it’s important to just dress appropriately for church.

You’ll be received at the Easter Vigil on the Saturday before Easter Sunday. Our service started at 9pm and lasted for less than 2 hours, but your priest will give you all the information you need about your parish arrangements. I was also received into the Catholic Church just before I was confirmed - others on my RCIA course had been baptised Catholic as infants, so it was slightly different for them.

Good luck, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it, it’s a wonderful experience!


Re: how to address a bishop –

In church, you’re just going to say whatever the ritual calls for, like “I will” or “I am.” No forms of address needed.

If there’s a reception afterward and you want to talk to the bishop, there’s an old Ask an Apologist thread that says you say “Bishop [last name]” or “Your Excellency.” If he’s an archbishop, it’s the same, except it’s “Archbishop [last name].”

If you’re in someplace like Boston and your bishop/archbishop is from a religious order, you address him as “Bishop/Archbishop [first name in the order]” or “Your Excellency.”

There are some slightly different terms in some places outside the US.


You may have occasion to address the Archbishop. After the Rite, our Bishop stands in front of the Sanctuary expressly to greet people. Anyone who wishes to may approach him to greet him. He does not present his ring to be kissed, but prefers to shake hands, and be addressed as Bishop so and so. One may also use Your Excellency. He is very friendly and likes to be with people.

So depending on the Bishop, you may have a chance to speak to him.


In the UK, we would address Archbishops as “Your Grace” rather than “Your Excellency”.


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