Saturday, March 05, 2005

The Second Scrutiny 

Our priest told us, at our last RCIA class, that the Scrutinies used to be just that. In the early church, when there was an ever-present and real danger of Roman spies infiltrating the Christian community, the three Scrutinies were used as intense prayers calling on God and the Holy Spirit to verify that the Catechumen were not evil plants of the Roman government. Thus even now, during the 3rd, 4th and 5th Sundays of Lent, those who want to be baptized and fully accepted into the Catholic Church are prayed over by the whole congregation.

So did the unbaptized again, as in all those years passed, come up and kneel at the alter for the Second Scrutiny. Our priest prayed for the darkness and any evil of their past lives to be banished by the Light of Jesus, just as Jesus banished darkness from the Blind Man in John 9. The prayer he said was beautiful and I don't do it justice with that synopsis. Father then put both of his hands on each person's head, in turn, and prayed intently for them. The Catechumen remained kneeling while we said all the normal prayers of our church: For a successful end to the war in the Middle East so that our men and women can come home, for an end to abortion, especially in the United States, for the dead and those who mourn the dead, for an increase in vocations to the priesthood and stable marriages and for the intentions we hold silently in our hearts.

After these prayers, the Catechumen rose to their feet and we, the Candidates for full communion who have already been baptized in other faiths, joined them for dismissal. We read the Gospel of John 9 twice over and discussed it while the rest of the congregation attended to the Eucharist.

In three weeks, we will join the church at the table.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

powered by FreeFind