SINGAPORE – The Rite of Election held over the weekend of Feb 28 and Mar 1 welcomed 856 Elect who will continue on the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) towards Easter Vigil when they will become Catholics. Another 176 catechumens and three candidates are expected to go through the rite in Mandarin.

These adults began their journey one to two years ago when they enrolled in their parish’s RCIA programme. Previously known as catechumens (adults seeking baptism) or candidates (adults baptised in another Christian faith but seeking full communion with the Catholic Church), they are now known as Elect.

“Election” refers to the idea that God continues to choose people through the covenant of baptism, just as he established a covenant with His chosen people, Israel. The Rite of Election provides an opportunity for these names to be formally enrolled among God’s chosen people.

This rite that is celebrated yearly, was hosted this year at Church of St. Teresa for the City and East district parishes on Saturday Feb 28, and at Church of Christ the King for North, West and Serangoon district parishes on Sunday Mar 1.

A total of 799 names of catechumens and 57 of candidates were presented to Archbishop Nicholas Chia.

Their names were enrolled into their parish’s Book of Elect the Sunday before the Rite of Election, in a Rite of Sending – symbolic of each parish testifying to the readiness of their catechumens and candidates before sending them towards Election.

From here on, the Elect will be celebrating three Scrutinies over the Lenten period – these rites help them examine their lives for temptation and for the community to pray that they be freed from these temptations and be protected as they continue onwards towards baptism.

The Rite of Election for the Mandarin-speaking catechumens and candidates will be held on Sunday Mar 8, 2.30pm at Church of the Holy Cross.

- Joyce Gan, Catholic News

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