Rite of Election: Elect one step closer to Easter Sacraments

Archbishop Andrew E. Bellisario, C.M., declared 14 Anchorage-area catechumens to now be members of the elect, confirming their readiness to celebrate baptism at the next Easter Vigil. He also welcomed 34 other Anchorage-area people to the final stage of preparation for the sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist, which will take place on the same day. 

Approximately 200 people gathered for the Rite of Election at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Anchorage on March 6, the first Sunday of Lent, according to Deacon David Van Tuyl. The archbishop presided over the service that brought people together from 10 Anchorage parishes.

“With this celebration, the Church marks the final stage of intense reflection in preparation for the Sacraments of Initiation,” the archbishop said during the Rite of Election.

The Rite of Election is part of the Order of Christian Initiation of Adults, formerly known as the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. This is the Church’s formal process of bringing an unbaptized adult, a catechumen, into full membership of the Catholic Church, said Deacon Michael Monagle.

During the Rite of Election, Van Tuyl said the catechumens’ sponsors and catechists affirm they are prepared to receive the sacraments of initiation. The catechumens also reaffirm their intention of desiring entry into the Catholic Church.

“Based on these representations, the Church, in the person of the bishop, declares them to be the elect,” Van Tuyl said. “This ‘election’ is founded on the fact that God has first made His election, calling each of them.”

In addition to the Rite of Election, the Call to Continuing Conversion was celebrated for those who have been baptized in a different faith tradition but who are not yet in full communion with the Catholic Church. The 34 people who participated also declared their intention of joining the Church.

“Based on the testimony of their sponsors and catechists, as to their readiness, they are also welcomed by the bishop to this final stage of preparation for the sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist,” Van Tuyl said.

The 48 people who participated in the Rite of Elections and Call to Continuing Conversion will further their growth in the Church at their respective parishes on Saturday evening, April 16. 

Contact your local parish office to find the Easter Vigil times.

“We pray for the elect,” the archbishop said during the Rite of Election, “who will enter the womb of the Church in the waters of baptism to be reborn in Christ, and to be anointed with the Holy Spirit, and then nourished with us at the table of the Lord.

“We pray for the candidates,” he continued, “who will complete their initiation through Confirmation and Eucharist, and that by our example they may be strongly encouraged to follow Christ with greater generosity.”

  • Scenes from the Rite of Election at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Anchorage on Sunday, March 6, 2022. (Courtesy of Ron Nicholl)

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