Catechumens, godparents, candidates and sponsors, plus all the community ‘supporters’ gathered in cathedrals across the land this weekend to celebrate the Rite of Election. In Middlesbrough, the snow had gone and the sun was blazing, making the long journey from the farthest points in the diocese a lot more fun! Our catechumens and candidates were amazed to be in the Cathdral for the first time. One young man said ‘It’s like the tardis – what you see on the outside is NOT what you get on the inside! (We have a modern cathedral built next to the supermarket carpark) And on the inside the diocesan choir leading the singing, raising the roof ‘All are welcome in this place’ ‘ Let us build a house where all are named, their songs and visions heard, and loved and treasured, taught and claimed as words within the Word.’ The Liturgy of the Rite of Election, and the Call to Continuing Conversion is powerful. Young and old and all in between, with hopefull faces as ther Godparents and communities gave testimony to their journey in faith and their response to Christ. It was obvious that the communities who brought the newly elect to the Cathedral today really loved them. We had tears and cries and laughter as people shared their stories before and after the Rite. The Bishop welcomed each person so warmly – and gave them a little wooden cross to wear as as a sign of being accepted and ‘chosen in the Lord’, and called to the sacraments at Easter. Our task as communities now is to continue to sustain them through our loving care. We will, with the help of God.
So How was it for you? What is the significance of this moment – as a catechument or candidate, sponsor or godparents, member of the parish community?