(From the St. Isidore Parish Stewardship series)
What are the Scrutinies?
To best define scrutinies, I have used direct quotes below from the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) document. The scrutinies are mainly for the "elect" (catechumens become "elect" after the Rite of Election at the beginning of Lent). But the faithful are encouraged to join in the scrutinies to also benefit from them. We are all in need of conversion throughout our lives, so we join with the "elect" in scrutinizing our lives and pray for the grace to overcome the power of sin that infects our hearts.
"141 The scrutinies, which are solemnly celebrated on Sundays and are reinforced by an exorcism, are rites of self-searching and repentance and have above all a spiritual purpose. The scrutinies are meant to uncover, then heal all that is weak, defective, or sinful in the hearts of the elect; to bring out, then strengthen all that is upright, strong, and good. For the scrutinies are celebrated in order to deliver the elect from the power of sin and Satan, to protect them against temptation, and to give them strength in Christ, who is the way, the truth, and the life. These rites, therefore, should complete the conversion of the elect and deepen their resolve to hold fast to Christ and to carry out their decision to love God above all."
"143 In order to inspire in the elect a desire for
purification and redemption by Christ, three scrutinies are celebrated. By this
means, first of all, the elect are instructed gradually about the mystery of
sin, from which the whole world and every person longs to be delivered and thus
saved from its present and future consequences. Second, their spirit is filled
with Christ the Redeemer, who is the living water (gospel of the Samaritan woman
in the first scrutiny), the light of the world (gospel of the man born blind
in the second scrutiny), the resurrection and the life (gospel of Lazarus in
the third scrutiny). From the first to the final scrutiny the elect should progress
in their perception of sin and their desire for salvation."
From the "Did You Know" Parish Stewardship series, a collaboration of Fr. Manuel Soria and Monique Figlietti, Chair of Stewardship Ministry in response to a request from the Pastoral Council.