The congregation gathers

This year a record number of people attended the RCIA service (more properly called the Rite of Election and Rite of Recognition) at which catechumens are enrolled for entry into the Church and candidates for full communion with the Church are recognised. They filled St. Mary’s Pro-Cathedral, and the wide range of ages and nationalities were a good reflection of the nature of the Catholic Church and an encouraging sign in these sceptical times.

As they gathered, the St. Mungo Singers provided a meditative ambience with a series of motets, before leading them in the singing of the Introit of Lent “He will call to me” as Archbishop Conti and members of the clergy of the Archdiocese processed to the altar.

After the Liturgy of the Word (1 Galatians, Ps.50 and John 3), the Catechumens with their godparents were called forward to declare their wish to enter into the life of the Church and to sign their names in the beautifully entitled Book of the Elect, before taking their place in the sanctuary. They were followed by the Candidates for full communion, with their sponsors. In both cases, the Archbishop invited the congregation to remember them in their prayers as they progressed towards Easter and their inclusion in the Church community.

The Intercessions for the Elect and Candidates were then read, and the congregation responded in song, adding to the feeling of celebration of this further stage in the journey of faith. As the prayers were read, the godparents and sponsors placed their right hands on the shoulders of the Elect/ Candidates in a beautiful sign of continuing care for them. The service then ended with the joyful singing of “Christ be our Light”, the verses of which set out so well the ideals of the Christian life