Rite of Sending and Rite of Election

On the First Sunday of Lent, we celebrate the Rite of Sending and the Rite of Election. At the 11:30 AM mass, we will have the Rite of Sending in which we, as a St. James Catholic Community, send to the Bishop those who will be baptized at the Easter Vigil and those who will come into full communion with the Church on Easter Sunday! This is an ancient Rite in the Church. We have a few people who will receive the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Eucharist for the first time at the Easter Vigil! In preparation for that, we testify that they are now entering a more intense period of preparation as the time is near for the celebration of the Easter Sacraments. They write their names in the Book of the Elect at the Rite of Election with the Bishop on Sunday afternoon at the Cathedral Basilica.

So, what does it mean that these Catechumens are called Elect? When someone makes that public declaration that they are going to be baptized soon and when the Church receives that declaration, they now rejoice in the same rights and obligations as any baptized member of the Christian Faithful. In other words, the Church regards them as having a baptism by desire. There are too many rights and obligations to enunciate them here. It is enough to say that we treat them as if they were baptized in some ways, but they are still in preparation and immediate formation. Please pray for them as they begin this proximate journey towards the Sacraments at the Easter Vigil.

This Lent, once again, I would like to ask everyone in our St. James Parish to add a community prayer during this Season of Lent. As one community supporting each other in the faith, please pray an Our Father, Hail Mary, and a Glory be for all our St. James parishioners throughout Lent. Let’s pray especially that those brothers and sisters in Christ who are not coming to weekly Sunday mass would begin to do so. We have many people who are part of our St. James community who are not attending regularly or are lukewarm about their faith. Please pray especially for them this Lent.

This weekend is the in-pew appeal and a lay witness talk to encourage participation in the 2024 Annual Catholic Appeal. Ms. Maureen Coates, Director of Stewardship and Development, will be our lay witness speaker. Thank you for all who have contributed. I invite all those who have not yet made a gift to participate in the building up of the Kingdom of God in our Diocese by being the Presence of Jesus to those throughout our Diocese of Savannah! I look forward to meeting our goal once again this year!

May the Lord Jesus bless you and your families abundantly this week!

~ Fr. Daniel Firmin

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