It was wonderful to see people of different ages, backgrounds, and ethnicities
News from around the Archdiocese of Liverpool
LIVERPOOL CATHEDRAL CELEBRATING 50 YEARS
- A LOOK BACK AT OUR COMMEMORATIVE ISSUE
by Elizabeth Parsons, Training Coordinator – Pastoral Development Department
Despite being a Catholic all my life, I had never been to a Rite of Election liturgy before.
I had read through the ‘Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults’ book, but there’s nothing that can truly express the experience of it. It took me back to my own memories of Holy Communion and Confirmation: how in awe I was of the whole majesty of the event; how supportive it felt to have my sponsor’s hand on my shoulder while I committed myself to God; and the pride in my family’s face. These were the same expressions I saw reflected on the faces of people during the Rite of Election.
As the crowd gathered, there was a variety of people attending and it was wonderful to see people of different ages, backgrounds, and ethnicities. It was a joy to see so many new people wanting to commit to following Jesus Christ. I know many of us are worried about the reducing numbers in congregations and yet here were over 65 people committing to the Christian life with us. As they crowded in, meeting their RCIA coordinators, parish priests and other members of the parish community, it was clear they were soaking up every aspect of the day. Set against the backdrop of the wonderful lighting and atmosphere of the Metropolitan Cathedral, there could be no mistaking this was a special occasion.
Archbishop Malcolm spoke in his homily that the Rite of Election is the ritual that marks their entry into the final phase of their preparation to receive the sacraments of initiation. Following the Rite of Election, they are called the elect, since they have been elected by the Church (in the person of the bishop) to become members. He commented that this is something they are doing publicly in front of their family, friends and parish communities and how wonderful it was to see this many people petitioning to become part of the Church.
All around the world, other communities were participating in their own Rite of Election. In this celebration, we joined with the entire global communion of the Church to welcome new members. At the end of the service, I met a young family. The mum and dad from St Francis Xavier were both there as Catechumens and they had brought their little son with them. That image will stay with me, where we ‘all are welcome’ into the family of Christ’s Church.
RCIA - 'we are all welcome'