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Rite of Election calls catechumens, candidates, to follow God

Deacon Brett Mills proclaims the Gospel at the 2 p.m. Rite of Election on March 10, 2019. TINA KASEY | WKC


In the Diocese of Owensboro, this year there are 91 catechumens (awaiting the Sacrament of Baptism at the Easter Vigil) and 135 candidates (awaiting the Sacraments of Confirmation and/or Holy Communion).

Bishop William F. Medley shakes hands with a young woman at the 2 p.m. Rite of Election on March 10, 2019. TINA KASEY | WKC

On March 10, two Rites of Election were held at St. Stephen Cathedral in the Diocese of Owensboro. The 2 p.m. service had 343 registered to attend, and the 6 p.m. service had 393 registered to attend. These numbers include catechumens, candidates, their family/friends, sponsors/godparents, RCIA teams and RCIA coordinators.  Several pastors came as well.

A Rite of Election in Paducah had been planned for March 3, but was canceled due to weather concerns.

According to Lauren Johnson, the diocese’s co-coordinator of worship, the Rite of Election is not actually about introducing catechumens and candidates to the larger diocesan community or meeting the bishop, though both of these take place.

“Neither of these are the actual meaning of the rite,” Johnson told the WKC. “It goes 

Several of the newly-elect write their names in the Book of the Elect. Only the elect – previously catechumens – sign this book because the candidates, by virtue of their baptism, already have their name symbolically in the “Book of Life.” TINA KASEY | WKC

back to the history of the Israelites. God called the Israelites out of all the people in the world to be his ‘elect,’ the people of God.  After Jesus died, rose from the dead and opened the door to salvation to both Jews and Gentiles, the idea of election didn’t go away, but opened up to all.”

Johnson said that after the catechumens are accepted as elect – “meaning that they have made a decision to join the Church at Easter and be followers of God” – and have been accepted by the bishop, they continue their study and growth during Lent to prepare for the Easter Vigil.

Click here to view more photos from the Rite of Election. 

Originally printed in the April 2019 issue of The Western Kentucky Catholic.

Copyright © 2019 Diocese of Owensboro/The Western Kentucky Catholic 

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