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Preparing for Rite of Election & Call to Continuing Conversion
Before the Rite of Election, ensure that catechumens and candidates have (RCIA 120):
• undergone a conversion in mind and action (can continue to develop).
• developed a sufficient (not exhaustive) acquaintance with Christian teaching.
• have a spirit of faith and charity (can be ongoing).
The parish community should “surround [the catechumens and candidates] with prayer, so that the entire Church will accompany and lead them to encounter Christ [at the Easter Vigil].” RCIA 121.
Familiarize the catechumens and candidates with the general format of the Combined Rite of Election & Call to Continuing Conversion (RCIA 547–560) and their responses without “rehearsing” the rite.
Locate or acquire a Book of the Elect and take it to the Rite of Election. The catechumens (including child catechumens) should all sign the Book of the Elect beforehand. Candidates do not sign the Book of the Elect.
Please recall that participation in the Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion is optional for those in the Children’s Catechumenate (RCIA 277).
Do ensure that all marriage issues with every catechumen and candidate have been discussed with the pastor, and if necessary, submitted to the Archdiocesan tribunal if not already done so, as soon as possible. Please do not delay this process. If a catechumen or candidate is in a marriage requiring this adjudication and a decision has not yet been issued by the Archdiocesan Tribunal, this catechumen or candidate may not participate in the Rite of Election/Call to Continuing Conversion.
General Instructions for the Rite of Election & Call to Continuing Conversion
Arrive Early – 1 Hour before liturgy time.
Worship Aids will be available at the entrance. These will have all the music for the celebration, as well as the responses to the questions asked during the Rites.
Please remind participating catechumens and candidates as well as sponsors and godparents to “dress nicely for the occasion and wear their Sunday Best.”
Ensure you bring your Book of the Elect with the names of the catechumens (including child catechumens) already inscribed. Do not save this for the last minute.
There will be no need for name tags this year. Catechumens and Candidates will not be going up to the altar.
Please remember that there is only enough space for 1 adult catechumen or candidate and 1 godparent/sponsor. For children catechumens/candidates, there will be 1 space for them, 1 for a godparent/sponsor, and 1 for a parent.
There will be no photos with the Bishops this year.
Photo/Video Consent waivers will be posted on the entrances of the doors of the Rite of Election site. Please inform the parents of the participating child catechumens and candidates so they will be aware ahead of time that the Rites will be live-streamed via the hosting parish social media accounts.
During the Liturgy of the Word & Celebration of Election – For RCIA Leaders
Immediately after the homily, RCIA Leaders are to line up with their parish Book of the Elect near the Podium indicated during check-in. Archdiocesan staff will be on hand to assist you.
When you are indicated to do so, begin by giving the name of your parish, then the names of each of the Catechumens.
Do not give any introduction or welcoming remarks.
Catechumens (only) will stand when their names are called and stay standing. They will not approach the altar this year to greet the Bishop. Once all the names in this group have been called, they will be directed to sit until all the other parishes have done the same for their catechumens.
Once you have finished calling your list of catechumens, take the Book of the Elect to the Bishop for his signature. Once it has been signed, the Emcee will direct you on where to stand in the sanctuary space. You will be directed to hold your Book up high for all to see when the time comes during the Rite.
After the Act of Admission for Election, the Emcee or Bishop will ask all catechumens with their godparents to turn and face the assembly to be congratulated. RCIA Leaders can then return to their seats.
During the Celebration of the Call to Continuing Conversion – For RCIA Leaders
If your parish has Candidates, you are to line up once more, again near the Podium indicated during check-in.
When indicated to do so, give only your parish name and the names of each of the Candidates.
Do not give any introduction or welcoming remarks.
Candidates (only) will stand when their names are called and stay in their places. Once all the names in this group have been called, they will be directed to sit until all the other parishes have done the same for their candidates. RCIA Leaders return to their seats.
After the Act of Recognition, the Emcee or Bishop will ask all candidates with their sponsors to turn and face the assembly to be congratulated.
At the Conclusion of the Rite of Election & Call to Continuing Conversion
Everyone is to remain in their seats at the conclusion of the Rites. Ushers will dismiss everyone according to the hosting parish procedures.