In an unnumbered section between 128 and 129, the rite gives the outline for the Rite of Election. Following the readings, we have eight distinct rituals:
Presentation of the Catechumens
Affirmation by the Godparents [and the Assembly]
Invitation and Enrollment of Names
Act of Admission or Election
Intercessions for the Elect
Prayer over the Elect
Dismissal of the Elect
The Liturgy of the Eucharist may then follow. Let’s check the rubrics for the homily:
129. After the readings (see RCIA 128), the bishop, or the celebrant who acts as the delegate of the bishop, gives the homily. This should be suited to the actual situation and should address not just the catechumens but the entire community of the faithful, so that all will be encouraged to give good example and to accompany the elect along the path of the paschal mystery.
This is a wise liturgical principle: public celebrations of the sacraments are not exclusively about the recipients. Baptisms, First Communions, Confirmations, Weddings, Ordinations–in none of these celebrations does the reception of particular sacraments overshadow the communal expression of faith. In addition, the driving force of the liturgical year governs the celebration of election. It’s not even about the larger community for the sake of community. Christ’s Paschal mystery: this is at the core of what we do. This is at the core of the intense period of purification and enlightenment that follows election, at the core of the liturgical year’s Lent-Easter cycle, and at the core of this particular celebration.
The homily reflects all this. It is not a final instruction for catechumens. It is not the bishop’s chance to unload his agenda. The homilist will hopefully urge and encourage all to have a fruitful Lent, point to the centrality of Christ in the Triduum, and encourage people, especially those giving example to the newcomers.