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Diocese Celebrates Rite of Election

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The Rite of Election was celebrated in the Diocese of Raleigh March 6 and March 13, with liturgical services held in four locations. The Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge presided at the Rite in Fayetteville on March 6 for the Fayetteville and Newton Grove Deaneries and in Apex on March 13 for the Raleigh and Piedmont Deaneries. Msgr. David D. Brockman, Vicar General, presided at the March 6 service in Greenville for the Tar River and Albemarle Deaneries and the March 13 service in New Bern for the New Bern and Cape Fear Deaneries.

This year approximately 500 Catechumens will receive the Sacraments of Baptism, Eucharist and Confirmation during the Easter Vigil in their parishes. More than 500 Candidates, baptized in other Christian traditions, will receive full Communion with the Church, receiving the Sacraments of Eucharist and Confirmation.

Following the Rite of Acceptance, those who had been called “Catechumens” are declared “Elect” by the Bishop or his designate. The Elect then enter into a stage of conversion: the Period of Purification and Enlightenment. Those who are Candidates for Full Communion in the Church also enter into the Period of Purification and Enlightenment.

In his homily at both liturgical services, Bishop Burbidge told the Catechumens and Candidates, “The Lord our God has chosen you...to be His disciples and to draw in deeper union with Him.”  Addressing family, friends, parish leaders and sponsors who were gathered to support the Catechumens and Candidates, Bishop Burbidge said the Rite of Initiation provides a wonderful opportunity to be strengthened in our faith. “It is a grace-filled moment to make sure that our words and deeds reflect our belief,” Bishop Burbidge said, “That he Lord Jesus is the foundation, the rock and the fortress of our lives.”

Above and below: Candidates, Catechumens, family, friends and parish leaders attending Rite of Election ceremony at St. Andrew Catholic Church in Apex.

Below: Bishop Michael F. Burbidge presiding at Rite of Election. To the left, Fr. Robert Benko, O.F.M., V.F., Dean of Piedmont Deanery, and Fr. John Forbes, V.F., Dean of Raleigh Deanery.

Below: Bishop Burbidge signing the Book of the Elect at Rite of Election for Raleigh and Piedmont Deaneries.