Q: My question is about the Rite of Election.
We recently celebrated the Rite of Election with the Bishop. The Book
of the Elect is presented to the bishop at the altar, where he signs
and dates the book and greets the catechumens.
No. 553 of the RCIA offers various possibilities for presenting the
catechumens to the bishop. However it does not specify that the
signing of the book take place on the altar. Is there another way in
which this might be carried out? I would welcome your comments and
A: There is no provision for the bishop to sign the book of the elect at all. I realize that many bishops do this, but it does not represent the best practice. The point of the book is to receive the signatures of the catechumens who wish to be named among the elect. The bishop then solemnly pronounces them to be among the elect, and that, if you will, is his “signature”. It’s the declaration that he makes. I think having the bishop sign the book confuses the purpose of the book.