Rite of Election and
Call to Continuing Conversion
Bishop John B. Brungardt will gather with hundreds of people from across the diocese to celebrate the Rite of Election and of the Call to Continuing Conversion on the First Sunday of Lent, March 13, 3 p.m. at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
At the heart of our Christian life is the understanding that each of us is called by God. We recall the words of Christ who said, “You did not choose me, no I chose you”. Not only does Christ choose, he calls us and knows us by name. Both of these are encapsulated in the Rite of Election which is celebrated in Our Lady of Guadalupe Cathedral at the beginning of Lent each year. The Rite of Election is a significant step for those who are preparing to receive the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and the Eucharist. Election in our contemporary culture often signifies a contest, or our choosing something or somebody. The Rite of Election is not about the candidates choosing the Sacraments of Initiation; it is about God’s choice of the person.
For Christians this is the call to embrace the mission of Jesus, the mission of God’s Kingdom.
The call, the election, of the Church embodies in human voice the call of God to which the candidates have already responded. They are then asked to express their response in the presence of the Church: “Do you wish to enter fully into the life of the Church through the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and the Eucharist?” They respond “We do”.
The bishop chooses them, elects them, in the name of the Lord and of the local Church to which they belong.
The candidates inscribe their names in the Book of the Elect. This signifies that they have heard God call their name and wish to respond to his call.
In the Dodge City Diocese the Rite of Election is also celebrated with a call to continuing conversion for those who have already been baptized. A clear distinction is made between those the Lord is calling to Baptism and those who are already baptized.
Those who are already baptized and seek to be admitted to the Sacraments of Eucharist and Confirmation are included in the liturgy on this day as a sign that God is calling them to full Communion with the Catholic Church.
Bishop Brungardt asks that we join him and the whole Church in praying God Our Father, you always work to save us and now we rejoice in the great love you give to your chosen people. Protect all who are about to become your children and continue to bless those already baptized.
From the 2010 Rite of Election, held at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe: