This annual event took place at St Chad’s Cathedral on Sunday 18 Feb.
Copy and pics by Pete Harrington
There was a sense of warm anticipation at the Cathedral in readiness for the Rite of Election. Ernest Northey, with the Knights of St Columba, was busy sorting seating for the groups from the many parishes.
Many had come to make an affirmation of their faith.. The choir for this special event was made up of choristers from several parishes, which was so appropriate for the togetherness of the day, with the beautiful psalm cantors Ali Marshall and Judy Wellicome from Our Lady’s, Lillington, Leamington.
All Parishes represented were named and welcomed before the entrance of Bishop David McGough, Bishop Robert Byrne and Archbishop Bernard Longley. After the readings and Gospel of the day, the congregation was invited to come forward to be greeted and welcomed by the Bishops, starting from the front of the side Aisles until all had been received and greeted. This took a considerable time, as the Cathedral was full to capacity. In giving the Blessing, Archbishop Bernard thanked all the congregation and their supporting clergy for making the day so powerful in their message of faith. He encouraged them saying, ‘You have reached a solemn moment on your journey of faith when you are ready to make a heartfelt commitment to continue on the pathway of faith where our Lord has been leading you now for many months… With the Lord walking at your side this Lent you are finding your true identity and the purpose of your life is being revealed to you. You are finding your way home to the family of the Church.’
To read the homily of His Grace, Archbishop Bernard Longley, click here
There were 186 Candidates and Catechumens at the Rite of Election on Sunday representing 55 parishes.