Scrutinies are intense prayers of the Church for those preparing to enter into the Church. Scrutinies encourage a spirit of repentance so that Christ may fill us with His light and love as we prepare for Baptism, or the renewal of Baptismal promises at the Easter Vigil. During the prayers, we pray that the spirit of evil in our hearts and lives be replaced with a spirit of good.
“The scrutinies, which are solemnlycelebrated on Sundays [of Lent], are rites forself-searching and repentance and haveabove all a spiritual purpose. The scrutiniesare meant to uncover, then heal all that isweak, defective, or sinful in the hearts of theelect to bring out, then strengthen all that isupright, strong, and good” (RCIA, No. 141).
Thereare three Scrutinies, ordinarily celebrated on the third, fourth and fifth Sundays of Lent. We will celebrate the Scrutinies: • Sunday, March 3:30 at the 8:30 a.m. Mass • Sunday, March 10 at the 8:30 a.m. Mass • Saturday, March 16 at the 4:30 p.m. Mass
At these celebrations, we will sit with our sponsorsand families in the section near the St. Ann statue(in front of the cry room and confessional.) We willhave reserved seating. Please make sure you areat Mass 10 minutes early.Following the homily, candidates and catechumenswill be called forward with sponsors. You willstand in front of the first step (on the floor) atthe front of the church, facing the assembly,with your sponsor behind you.
There will be a series of prayers, during which thepriest will first invite you to bow your head. Therewill be a short period of silence, then prayers ofintercession with the response: “Lord, hear ourprayer.”Next the priest will raise his hands in prayer overyou, and recite a series of prayers. These prayersare included in your Scrutiny Preparation packets.
With each of the three Scrutinies, a particular selection of John’s Gospel is assigned. In preparation for each Scrutiny, in class we will watch a dramatization of the story;in the week before, please read and reflect on the Gospel. • First Scrutiny: The Samaritan Woman at the Well • Second Scrutiny: The Man Born Blind • Third Scrutiny: The Raising of Lazarus
Following the First Scrutiny, youwill be presented with a copy ofthe Nicene Creed so that youcan study it in preparation for theEaster Vigil. You don’t need tomemorize it, just study it.We will study it in class, also.The Creed is the statement ofbelief that unites us as Church.
Following the Second Scrutiny, you will bepresented with a copy of the OurFather, again to study in preparing forEaster. The Our Father (also called theLord’s Prayer) is recited at Mass followingthe Eucharistic Prayer. It is the prayer Jesustaught the apostles to pray.