One of the most important and beautiful rites of the church took place recently at St Patrick’s Cathedral Melbourne, as 2018’s catechumens were presented to the Archbishop of Melbourne Denis Hart as part of the Rite of Election ceremony.
Each arrives with a sense of anticipation, nervousness and wondering just what they would experience. Their catechists and families have the same feelings, because for most it is something entirely new. Each of the parishes prepare a scroll for the catechumens and for the candidates, and these scrolls are presented to the Archbishop, during the Rite of Election. The catechumens are called forth, parish by parish, and stand together at the foot of the altar as the Archbishop speaks directly to them. At a later stage the candidates are also called forward and addressed by the Archbishop. This is ritual at its best: there is song, prayer, music, symbols, people, silence, actions and at the end - joy and delight as all register what has just taken place.
One only has to see the wide and glorious smiles to know that the elect eagerly look forward to Easter and the Resurrection, and their own full immersion into the Life of Christ through the sacraments of initiation.
After the Rite of Election, the names on the scrolls are then to be transcribed into the Book of Elect, which is held at the Cathedral.
Together with the Archdiocese of Melbourne, we congratulate all of 2018's elect, especially our own - Llyod, and our candidate Jayne - and we are proud to accompany them on their journey forward into full community with the Catholic Church.