Q: I have received questions about the Rite of Election, whether it is mandatory or not. I can find no place in the white RCIA study edition that says that the Rite of Election is mandatory. We have had persons who could not participate because of sudden illness or intractable work schedules. We encourage every one to come to the Rite of Election, of course, but it would be helpful to know if it is a must or not. Thank you.
A: It is not obligatory. In fact, the RCIA envisions extraordinary circumstances in which the initiation rites take place more succinctly. Part II Section 2 is a case in point.
However, if possible, it would be good for those who cannot attend the rite of election to have another opportunity for it. The bishop may delegate another priest to represent him. An additional ceremony could take place in the parish with the pastor – if the bishop agrees to it.