More than 800 to Participate In-Person and Virtually in Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion

Adults, young adults, teens, and children among those to be baptized or received into full communion in the Catholic Church this Easter

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This year at Easter, the Archdiocese of Washington will welcome 840 adults, teens, and children who will be baptized or received into full Communion in the Catholic Church. More than one-third of these participants are from the Spanish-speaking community.

On two consecutive Sundays, the archdiocese will gather these individuals virtually and in a limited fashion in person, along with their Godparents and sponsors, to celebrate the Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion. Because of the large number of individuals who come from approximately 76 parishes and seven university campuses, the archdiocese holds these liturgies on two consecutive Sundays. The hybrid celebration, with representatives from each parish in person and others gathering remotely, ensures the event can be celebrated fruitfully for those entering the Church while respecting the safeguards prescribed for the health and common good of all.

Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion

Sunday, February 21 and Sunday, February 28, 2021

From the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

February 21:

February 28:

The Rite of Election marks the participants’ desire to become Catholic and kicks off a final period of intense spiritual preparation called Purification and Enlightenment, where the elect join Catholics around the world in the Lenten practices of practice prayer, fasting, and service to others. During the Rite of Election, godparents for the non-Christians, or catechumens, vow that the catechumens are prepared for baptism. After asking the catechumens if this is what they desire, they are declared “the elect,” who have been chosen by God to enter the Church. Similarly, individuals will formally recognize the readiness of those already-baptized Christians, or candidates, to be received into full communion with the Catholic Church.

At the Easter Vigil on April 3, the celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation will take place at each of the parishes. The elect celebrate the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist where they will be called neophytes, and would then be considered full members of the Christian faithful. After Easter, they continue on a period of reflection called mystagogy (which means “savoring the mysteries”), that runs through their first year from their initiation into the Church. The candidates, having already been baptized, celebrate Confirmation and the Eucharist at the Easter Vigil. There, the candidates will embrace full membership in the Catholic Church.