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 will standin front of the first step (on the floor) at the front ofthe church, facing the assembly, with your sponsorbehind you.
There will be a series of prayers, during which thepriest will first invite you to bow your head.At one point in the prayers, he will prayerfully placehis hands on your head for a moment. Thissymbolizes the calling down of the Holy Spirit inprayer. During this part of the ritual, the assemblyand choir will sing.
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, you will bepresented with a copy of the Nicene Creedso that you can study it in preparation for theEaster Vigil. You don’t need to memorize it,just study it. We will study it in class, also.
Following the Second Scrutiny, you will bepresented with a copy of the OurFather, again to study in preparing forEaster.