WAUNAKEE -- The Rite of Election of catechumens and Call to Continuing Conversion for candidates for full communion in the Catholic Church will be celebrated on Sunday, March 1, at 3 p.m. at St. John the Baptist Church in Waunakee.
Parishes from throughout the diocese will send people who will celebrate the sacraments of initiation this Easter, as well as their sponsors, families, and friends. Bishop Robert C. Morlino will preside.
The celebration comes from an ancient Christian practice in which those who were to celebrate the sacraments of initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist) come forward at the beginning of Lent to show their intent. The people of the church, in turn, promise their support, guidance, and prayers.
The celebration is part of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA), which encompasses many facets of initiation.
The service includes three distinct parts. First, all listen to the reading of Scripture which recalls that Christ has called each person by name. Following the readings and a homily, the catechumens -- all those who are seeking Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist -- are called by name to come forward.
The bishop offers a brief instruction and asks them a few questions. He asks their sponsors and family and friends if they will continue to support the catechumens with their prayers.
Then the catechumens sign their name in the Book of the Elect as a sign of their commitment and as a reminder to pray for the elect.
The candidates -- those baptized in another Christian denomination wishing to be welcomed into the Catholic Church — are each called by name. The bishop speaks to the candidates and asks their sponsors and the assembly to support them with their prayers.
St. John the Baptist Church is wheelchair accessible. Large-print worship aids are available upon request. For information, visit www.madisondiocese.org/worship or call the Office of Worship at 608-821-3080.