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The Rite of Sending and Election

Today was a big step for any Candidate or Catechumen in the Catholic Church.  This was the day that they are recommended by their parishes to the Bishop or Cardinal of their dioceses.  In the first rite of the day the catechumens are asked to stand before the congregation and let the congregation know that they are prepared and ready to take the next step of their journey. After agreeing they are asked to sign the book of the elect, people that elected to be catholic. The candidates, are also asked stand and state that they too are ready to go to the next level.  They however don.t need to sign because they are already listed because they were issued baptism certificates from their churchesAs with the first Sunday of Lent, it is the time for the Right of Sending and the Rite of Election for members of the RCIA programs throughout the country. If you attend mass on this Sunday you may see people at the front of your church. They may be using words like Candidate and Catechumen.

So what was it all about. The Rites of Sending and Election walk hand and hand. As a member of the RCIA program at a parish,  the perspective Catholic must go through a program of study and be willing to accept the tenants of the Catholic church  Through the program, once you agree to go though the program and enter the Catechumenate, you are divided into two groups.

The groups are the Candidates, or people who have been baptized in a Trinitarian manner and baptized with water. Being baptized in a Trinitarian manner is in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. They can come from any faith that meets that criteria. The second group is the unbaptized. These may be children over the age of consent who was not baptized as babies. These are also adult who were not baptized or baptized in a non Trinitarian church.


The next step was to go to the service with the Bishop where each of the Catechumens were called specifically by name and presented to the Bishop or Cardinal. The Bishop/Cardinal reviews the names in the books of the elects and after again asking if they are ready, he accepts their petition to become part of the Church. The Candidates also have to say they are ready. As of today our Catechumens are no longer Catechumens, they are now the elect and if they were to die they would receive all the credit as if the y were baptized.

The next 5 Sundays the elect and the candidates will go though scrutinizes until they reach their final goal of Easter Vigil where they will be in full communion with the church.


This article was published on Monday 11 February, 2008.

Up a level: Sacraments
Related Topics:
  • First Communion
  • Confirmation
  • Baptism

  • Back to main topic: RCIA
    RCIA Process is a Call for Conversion to All
    RCIA The return of the Catechumenate
    How do you become Catholic?
    RCIA and What It Means

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