Clifton: Report on Rite of Election

12 03 2011

The Revd Paul Spilsbury reports on today’s Rite of Election in Clifton Cathedral:

Today, March 12th, the first members of the Bristol Ordinariate Group participated in the Rite of Election at Clifton Cathedral. There were also members of the Salisbury Ordinariate Group present. After the presentation of the candidates to Bishop Declan, he welcomed them and invited them to join with all those seeking communion with the Catholic Church this Lent in a spirit of repentance. “Hear the Lord’s call to conversion and be faithful to your baptismal covenant.” As one, the candidates replied, “Thanks be to God,” and the Bishop exhorted all those present in the Cathedral to support them by prayer and example. Then each candidate signed the Register of the Ordinariate, and was greeted individually by the Bishop.

This of course took place in a wider ceremony, between the enrolment of perhaps a hundred diocesan candidates for reception at Easter, and several dozen adult catechumens who would be baptised then. It was an unforgettable sight, so many people literally queuing up to express their desire to follow Christ more closely in his Church. I understand that the total numbers present were quite usual for the Rite of Election, and it occurred to me that, since many of those already baptised must have come from an Anglican background, if in future years even a proportion of them decide to enter Catholic communion via the Ordinariate, there is potential for considerable growth.