The Cardinal and his auxiliary bishops today formally welcomed those in Westminster Diocese who are preparing for baptism or reception into the Church at Easter. At this Rite of Election, these candidates are 'elected' or chosen by the Cardinal, and begin their final Lenten preparation for the Easter ceremonies.
The Rite of Election usually takes place on the first Sunday of Lent. However, owing to the large numbers involved, for the past two years we have had to split the ceremony between the two Sundays either side of Ash Wednesday.
Monday, 19 February 2007
I am pround that the congregation yesterday included twenty candidates from the Cathedral parish. Like other candidates, they were present in the Cathedral with their sponsors.
A choir of diocesan volunteers provided the music (above). Below the Cardinal sits with the bishops, who are (from the far side) Bishop George Stack, Bishop Alan Hopes, and then Bishop Bernard Longley and Bishop John Arnold. On the north side of the sanctuary sit the Deans - the priests who have care of a particular group of parishes, and who call out the names of those parishes represented. The eagle-eyed among you will also spot the Cardinal's biretta, top right, occuping a stall next to the Cardinal's secretary.