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Diocese to hold three Rites of Election

Three Rites of Election are scheduled for Greenville and Columbia on Saturday, March 28, as well as in Charleston on Sunday, March 1. Bishop David B. Thompson will preside over these ritual celebrations, in which more than 469 people will indicate their intention of joining the Catholic Church in 1998.

The Rite of Election is the third stage of the conversion process for adults. Most will be received into full communion with the Church at Easter.

According to Paul Schroeder, diocese director of catechesis and evangelization, the rite is “the final jump until the Easter Vigil,” for the catechumens and candidates. He added that the ritual with the bishop also “gives formal recognition to the individuals.”

At the ceremonies, the participants are presented to the bishop and called forth by their parish representatives. The bishop then questions them as to their intent, and he asks the sponsors to continue their support to the Easter Vigil.

“It recognizes their effort on the faith journey,” Schroeder said.

Some of the converts (candidates) are already baptized in other faith traditions, and others (catechumens) are not. Candidates sign the Book of the Elect at the rite celebration and become known as the elect; catechumens participate in the Call to Continuing Conversion, indicating their intention to convert from another Christian faith to Catholicism.

The entire process is known as the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) and consists of four parts. The first was the Inquiry phase, where questions about the faith were answered; that was followed by the Catechumenate phase, an educational segment where parish life is also introduced.

The third phase is the Rite of Election itself and the fourth is the celebration of the sacraments during an Easter liturgy.

The Rites of Election this year will be celebrated on Saturday, Feb. 28, at St. Mary Church in Greenville at 10 a.m., at 3 p.m. at St. Peter Church in Columbia, and on Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. Bishop David B. Thompson will preside over each rite.

Schroeder said that 161 candidates and catechumenates will celebrate the rite in the Upstate, 132 in Columbia and 176 in Charleston. Some catechumens and candidates from the Pee Dee Deanery will be part of the Rite of Election in Columbia, others in Charleston.

A Neophyte Mass will be celebrated by Bishop Thompson the week after Easter, on Sunday, April 19, at 3 p.m., at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, for all who took part in the Easter Vigil ceremonies.

The Rite of Election is the third stage of the conversion process for adults. Most will be received into full communion with the Church at Easter.

According to Paul Schroeder, diocese director of catechesis and evangelization, the rite is “the final jump until the Easter Vigil,” for the catechumens and candidates. He added that the ritual with the bishop also “gives formal recognition to the individuals.”

At the ceremonies, the participants are presented to the bishop and called forth by their parish representatives. The bishop then questions them as to their intent, and he asks the sponsors to continue their support to the Easter Vigil.

“It recognizes their effort on the faith journey,” Schroeder said.

Some of the converts (candidates) are already baptized in other faith traditions, and others (catechumens) are not. Candidates sign the Book of the Elect at the rite celebration and become known as the elect; catechumens participate in the Call to Continuing Conversion, indicating their intention to convert from another Christian faith to Catholicism.

The entire process is known as the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) and consists of four parts. The first was the Inquiry phase, where questions about the faith were answered; that was followed by the Catechumenate phase, an educational segment where parish life is also introduced.

The third phase is the Rite of Election itself and the fourth is the celebration of the sacraments during an Easter liturgy.

The Rites of Election this year will be celebrated on Saturday, Feb. 28, at St. Mary Church in Greenville at 10 a.m., at 3 p.m. at St. Peter Church in Columbia, and on Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. Bishop David B. Thompson will preside over each rite.

Schroeder said that 161 candidates and catechumenates will celebrate the rite in the Upstate, 132 in Columbia and 176 in Charleston. Some catechumens and candidates from the Pee Dee Deanery will be part of the Rite of Election in Columbia, others in Charleston.

A Neophyte Mass will be celebrated by Bishop Thompson the week after Easter, on Sunday, April 19, at 3 p.m., at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, for all who took part in the Easter Vigil ceremonies.






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