WESTMINSTER Cathedral was the setting last Sunday for the largest Rite of Election ever held in this country since the introduction of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) in the 1970s.
The Rite of Election is the point at which catechumens publicly petition the church to accept them as candidates for baptism and full membership of the Roman Catholic Church.
At Easter the catechumens will be fully initiated after receiving the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and the Eucharist. Those who are converting from another Christian denomination and who are already baptised will receive the Eucharist and also Confirmation in some cases.
The ceremony filled the Cathedral with 350 catechumens and their sponsors and families celebrating the event with Cardinal Hume and the five diocesan bishops.
St John's Cathedral, Portsmouth was also filled to capacity with 90 catechumens attending the Rite of Election presided over by diocesan Bishop Anthony Emery.