Next Sunday, catechumens around the world who are ready for initiation will be sent to the Rite of Election where their bishop will choose them for baptism this Easter. In the United States, the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults gives parishes the option to celebrate a Rite of Sending for these catechumens, providing the parish an opportunity to “express its approval of the catechumens and to send them forth to the celebration of election assured of the parish’s care and support” (RCIA 107).
Today is a fitting time for the Rite of Sending if your parish chooses to celebrate it. (If the Rite of Election will take place at your own parish church, the Rite of Sending is not celebrated.)
The rite is simple: After the homily, the catechumens, with godparents, are called forward one by one by name. The godparents affirm their companions’ readiness for initiation. The Book of the Elect is signed if the signing will not take place at the Rite of Election. Finally, we pray intercessions and a concluding prayer for the catechumens, then dismiss them.The 8th Sunday in Ordinary Time is a fitting time for the Rite of Sending if your parish chooses to celebrate it. Click To Tweet
Heighten the solemnity by chanting the presentation, the catechumens’ names as they are called forward, and the prayer over the catechumens. During the signing of the book, reprise the antiphon of Psalm 92 from the Liturgy of the Word as an assembly acclamation.
This post was first published in “GIA Quarterly: A Liturgical Music Journal.”
Image credit: Photo by Kira auf der Heide on Unsplash.
Read more reflections on the Sunday readings here:
- Opening our lives to the stranger
- The meaning of prayer
- Hospitality of home and heart
- Can we be neighbors?
- Leading music and prayer