The Rite of Election for children of catechetical age unfolds mostly as it did for adults. We’ll cover the red-n-black of these nine sections briefly over this post and tomorrow’s, just noting the differences from the adult rite.
RCIA 282 parallels RCIA 130 in that the person in charge of the catechumenate or a community representative presents the children by name. If a “great many children” are at the rite, the young people may be presented in groups, presumably by parish rather than by age. Some coordination is needed if individual naming is not included in the rite, as RCIA “advises” a special celebration prior to Election in which each child is called “forward by name.”
You may have noted that I skipped over the Rite of Sending. There is no adapted rite listed in RCIA. The only option given would be the rite used for adults (RCIA 106-117) presumably with appropriate adaptation as needful.
RCIA 283 parallels RCIA 131. The variance is that “parents” are included in this as is [the assembly]. In the adult rite, the assembly is questioned separately regarding their support. With youth, the bracketing indicates they may be addressed at the presider’s option or discretion.
Invitation and Enrollment of Names (284, 132) follows. The text is adapted, except for the vital question asked of the children directly. It’s the same as for adults:
Therefore, do you wish to enter fully into the life of the Church through the sacraments of baptism, confirmation, and eucharist?
The rubric that follows, describing options for the children giving and/or enrolling their names is identical to that of adults. Check this post on RCIA 132 for commentary.
RCIA 285 alters things a bit, but the essence is still the same. The “Act of Admission or Election” finds the celebrant explaining in brief the “significance of the enrollment,” as he does for adults. The rite with youth has the celebrant addressing the entire assembly instead of the godparents specifically (as in RCIA 133). Then curiously, the youth rite adds, in RCIA 286, a “Recognition of the Godparents.” Here’s the rubric:
286. The celebrant may speak briefly of the new relationship which will exist between the parents and godparents of theelect. He may conclude by placing his outstretched hands over the parents and godparents while praying in these or similar words.
May Almighty God bring joy to your hearts as you see the hope of eternal life shine on these elect. Steadfastly bear witness to your faith by what you say and do. May these children grow as faithful members of God’s holy people. And may you be a constant support to each other, in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Perhaps not a shining moment for the framers of the rite. The presider’s text sort of floats back and forth between being a prayer to God (sentences 1 and 3) and an instruction to the people (sentences 2 and 4). If this rite is used, I would urge some thought to the option, “similar words.” Otherwise, no further comment from me. What about you?