The Rite of Election which was held on the first Sunday of Lent, is an annual ritual at which individuals affirm their desire to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church.
The word “election” or “elect” is not used in a political sense in any way during the liturgy. Here elect is used in a sense of “chosen.” God has chosen these people to become part of his community.
In the presence of their Parish Priest the names that are written in the Book of the Elect are signed by the RCIA catechumens. Signing of the book is to affirm a Call to Continuing Conversion. The phrase “Call to Continuing Conversion” makes up the second major part of the liturgy and is for those, usually from other denominations, who already have been baptized. The catechumens are called “the elect” and now begin a Period of Purification and Enlightenment — the final, intense preparation for receiving the Sacraments of Initiation over the next five Sundays of Lent.
This year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Rite of Election for KL North District took place with SOP measures on Sunday, 6th March at St. Joseph’s Church, Sentul at 4.00pm. There were catechumens from the Church of St. Joseph, Good Shepherd Church, Jesus Caritas Church, Chapel of Christ the Light and Chapel of Christ the King. A Total of 5 Churches with a total of 13 catechumens from English RCIA, 5 from Bahasa Malaysia RCIA, 1 from Tamil RCIA,10 from Mandarin RCIA and 11 from Myanmar RCIA affirmed their desire “to enter fully into the life of the church through the sacraments of Baptism, Eucharist and Confirmation at the Easter vigil. The Catechumens were accompanied by their sponsors.
The Rite of Election was celebrated by Msgr. James Gnanapiragasam and accompanied by the respective parish priests; Rev. Fr. Frederick Joseph, Msgr. Mitchel Joseph, Rev. Fr. Bernard H. Arphutasamy and Rev. Fr. Peter Anthoney.
Msgr. James recited to the catechumens, sponsors and the catechists the catechumens’ affirmation of their intention to join the Church. The Church makes it’s “election” of these catechumens to receive the Sacraments of Initiation.
The pre-recorded homily by Most Rev. Julian Leow, Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur Archdiocese was projected after the Gospel reading to the congregation in the Church.
The fellowship for Rite of Election ended with some light refreshments.
By Constance Delima,
St. Joseph’s Church, Sentul