Catechumens stand during Rite of Election at St. Mary Cathedral in Portland in 2010.
The Archdiocese of Portland has scheduled six opportunities to celebrate the Rite of Election for catechumens and for candidates entering into full communion with the Church this Easter Vigil.
The Rite of Election is an important step in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). It signifies that God has called, or elected, the participant to celebrate the sacraments of initiation and entry into the Church. The season of Lent is the final time of preparation for those planning to enter the Church at the Easter Vigil.
Traditionally the Rite of Election is scheduled for the first Sunday of Lent, and is celebrated in the presence of the Bishop. The archdiocese has scheduled the rite in four locations due to the number of participants and due to travel distance. The Rite will be celebrated:
St. Mary’s Cathedral - Portland Saturday, March 8, 7:30 p.m., Bishop Steiner Sunday, March 9, 2 p.m. (bi-lingual), Archbishop Vlazny Sunday, March 9, 7:30 p.m., Archbishop Sample Shepherd of the Valley – Central Point Saturday, March 8, 11 a.m., Archbishop Sample St. Monica Parish – Coos Bay Saturday, March 8, 7:30 p.m., Archbishop Sample St. Paul Church – Eugene Sunday, March 9, 2 p.m., Archbishop Sample
The Rite of Election is celebrated in the presence of the Bishop, and acknowledges that one enters the universal faith community of the Church in addition to the particular parish faith community. Parishes will celebrate a Rite of Sending before the participants leave for the Archdiocesan celebration. The sending rite addresses "the entire community of the faithful, so that all will be encouraged to give good example and to accompany the candidates along the path of the paschal mystery." All of the liturgical rites associated with the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults remind parishioners of their responsibility to assist in the preparation of those joining the Church. It also serves to remind parishioners of their own continuing faith journey. The names of the elect will be inscribed in the parish Book of the Elect, and the Book will be presented to the Archbishop/Bishop at the diocesan ceremony.
The Rite of Election will be celebrated for those catechumens entering the Church through the Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist. The Rite also recognizes the candidates who will enter into full communion with the Church by a Profession of Faith at the Easter Vigil. Pastors, parish catechumenate teams, godparents, sponsors and family members will accompany the catechumens and candidates.
The format for the Rite of Election includes: * Readings from Scripture * Homily * Presentation and reading of the names of those preparing for baptism – the Catechumens, and an affirmation of support by their Godparents and the Assembly * Presentation and reading of the names of the Candidates planning to enter into full communion with the Church, followed by an affirmation of support by their Sponsors and the Assembly * Prayers of intercession for Catechumens and Candidates.