Rite of Election 2024


The Cathedral was packed as nearly 500 people gathered last Sunday to celebrate the Rite of Election with Bishop Patrick.

This service marks a key moment on the journey of those preparing to be baptised or received into full communion with the Church at Easter. Organised by the Department for Adult Formation for Mission, this year’s numbers seen not only a return but also a growth on pre-pandemic numbers. This joyful diocesan celebration was generously animated by the Derby Deanery this year, with music provided by the Deanery’s joint youth and adult choir, plus the choir from Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Mickleover.

A highlight of the celebration was when candidates were called forward, in their parish groups, to meet the bishop and to have their names recorded in the Book of the Elect. Over 100 people were presented to Bishop Patrick as being ready to move forward on their journey of faith. The bishop thanked those gathered in the congregation for prayerfully supporting ‘the Elect’ on this journey.

During his sermon, Bishop Patrick focused on what it means to be a disciple of Jesus, and during this Year of Prayer, explored the role prayer plays in the life of the disciple. He highlighted three things that time spent in prayer with the Lord allows us to discover and experience. Firstly, the deep love He has for each of us and His desire that we keep growing in that love. Secondly, the truth of who we are, our true identity as God's beloved sons and daughters. And finally, what God has in mind for each of us, how He is inviting us to be his co-workers in and through the ordinary circumstances of our daily lives, in our homes, schools, workplaces, families, neighbourhoods and wider society.

'A disciple', Bishop Patrick, 'is someone who not only wants to grow in a personal relationship with Christ but also someone who wants to become a channel for Christ, a co-worker with Christ and a way or a means by which his love, compassion, healing, blessing and forgiveness can be shared with the many people we encounter in daily life.' A disciple is also someone 'who is trying, each day, to move from a me-centred relationship with Christ to one that seeks to hear and respond to what Christ is asking of them'. The mind of a true disciple, the bishop said, is beautifully expressed in this line from Psalm 40, ‘Here I am Lord, I come to do your will’.

Bishop Patrick shared a prayer, filled with excitement and expectation, that the candidates might use in their own lives each morning ‘Lord what today are you and I going to do together?’ He invited the candidates to ask the Holy Spirit to help them look upon each day with the eyes of Christ, to enable them to see the little moments throughout the day where they can put discipleship into action. He said this might be a helpful practice for all gathered, this Lent.

Mr Joe Hopkins, Diocesan Director of Adult Formation for Mission, expressed his great joy at seeing the Cathedral full of people wanting to become Catholic. He commented 'it is a testament to the great witness of parishioners, clergy and catechists throughout the Diocese who help people encounter Christ. There are also many more people who will be coming Catholics at Easter who could not be with us at Sunday's celebration. It gives great hope and energy for the mission of our diocese and its parishes.'

We continue to pray for these catechumens and candidates as they continue their journey to Easter and towards becoming full members of the Catholic Church.

You can read the Order of Service here.

Photo Gallery

Photos of the Rite of Election, with thanks to the Diocesan Communications Team.