Choreographing the Scrutinies

When you are planning for the scrutinies, be sure to move the Elect out into the midst of the assembly. The goal is to strive for both visibility and intimacy.

  • If you only have one candidate for initiation this year, the action of the scrutiny should take place where it is most visible—usually at the head of the center aisle. The Elect would face the assembly.
  • If you have two candidates, place the second about half way down the center aisle.
  • If you have three, place the third in a side aisle, and so on.
  • When it is time for the rite, the godparents move the Elect into their designated places.
  • Do not rehearse with the Elect. It is up to the god- parents to guide the Elect.

  • It is very important for the godparents to keep a hand on the Elect throughout the entire rite.
  • When it is time for the laying on of hands, the presider would walk solemnly to each candidate and press his hands on top of each head.
  • You might adapt the rite to have the director of the catechumenate follow behind and do the same.
  • Similarly, each godparent might lay hands on his or her candidate as well.
  • Note, the laying on of hands is a gesture of exorcism, not absolution.

The key to a reverent and dignified celebration is rehearsal. Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse.

BUT, do not rehearse with the Elect. It is up to the godparents to be well prepared and know how to guide the Elect through the rite. Their care for the Elect in the rite is symbolic of their commitment as godparents.

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