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Rite of Election gathers faithful preparing to join church

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

ARCHDIOCESE — The Archdiocese of Cincinnati celebrated the Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion in Cincinnati and Dayton on March 4 with the 1,125 people who will be welcomed into the Catholic faith at Easter.

RCIA candidate Kristin Watson stands with her fiance, Jay Vitali, with his hands on her shoulders during the Rite of Election at the Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception in Dayton Sunday, March 1, 2009. (CT/E.L. Hubbard)

The Rite of Election brings together those seeking to receive the sacraments of baptism, confirmation and Eucharist at the Easter Vigil, while the Call to Continuing Conversion is celebrated with those seeking reception into the full communion of the church, along with Catholics who are completing their initiation through the sacraments of confirmation and Eucharist.

Celebrated annually in churches and cathedrals worldwide on the first Sunday of Lent, the Rite of Election formally acknowledges the readiness of catechumens preparing to receive the sacraments of initiation — baptism, confirmation and the Eucharist — at the Easter Vigil.

The term “election” refers to God choosing the catechumens for membership in Christ’s Body. During this public celebration, the church judges their readiness and affirms their intention to advance toward receiving the Easter sacraments.

The catechumens and candidates came together from parishes throughout the archdiocese for two celebrations, held at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Chains in downtown Cincinnati, with Coadjutor Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr presiding, and at Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church in Dayton, with Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk presiding.

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